In its first spring competition, the women’s crew team won three races on Saturday against Penn and Columbia.

Yale’ second varsity eight, varsity four and second varsity four won their races, which took place on Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River. Columbia captured the varsity eight, which was the main race of the day, with a time of 6:21.1 and Penn won the third varsity eight with a record of 6:55.3. The Bulldogs’ retained the Connell Cup, awarded since 1975 to a team with the highest overall result of the day, by winning three of the five races.

“They are not exactly the results we were looking for, but this weekend showed us what we need to work on in all of our boats moving forward,” captain Eliza Hastings ’13 said. “From here, we plan to keep moving onward and upward.”

Yale’s varsity eight and second varsity rowed nearly identical times, with less than two seconds separating them. Since the first boat should be rowing faster than the second, head coach Will Porter believes that “the team has not found a true varsity eight yet.”

This weekend’s race was the team’s first since Oct. 28. In the varsity eight race, Columbia dominated second-place Yale by five seconds.

“In every race, the winner had open water,” Hastings said. “In the [first varsity], Columbia came out on top. We were out-rowed.”

Yale’s second varsity won its race handily, besting second-place Columbia by 20 seconds with a time of 6:28.0, and Yale’s third varsity lost to both of Penn’s boats. The varsity four beat second-place Columbia by nearly seven seconds with a time of 7:17.4, while the second varsity four finished nearly eight seconds ahead of second-place Columbia with a time of 7:21.7.

“Our good isn’t good enough right now. We have work to do but we have time,” Porter said. “We will just keep at it and work to get it right.”

Yale has five more races before the Ivy League Championship, set for May 19.

The team races Cornell on Saturday in Ithaca, N.Y., for the Cayuga Cup. Cornell has defeated Yale the past two years.