DERBY, Conn. - A great day on the water turned rough during the novice race as the University of Pennsylvania lightweights claimed victory in a wild freshman race and finished third to the top two teams in the nation in the battle for the Dodge Cup on Saturday on the Housatonic River.
The Quakers showed some impressive resiliency after a collision in the freshman race. About 800 meters into the race, Yale's boat mishandled a turn on the course and crashed into the Penn crew. The Bulldogs pulled ahead as the Quakers regrouped. For nearly a half minute, the Red and Blue were down two rowers after the shoes of the stroke and seven seat came unclipped after the collision.
When the Quakers regained all eight rowers, they quickly closed about a one-length gap on the Bulldogs. Penn then pulled back into the lead, where they finished with a winning time of 5:51.0. After the finish, Yale was officially disqualified for the lane violation and clash.
"It was a really good race," said head coach Nick Baker. "It was great to see our guys respond so well to some unexpected adversity and, overall, all of our crews were much improved from last week so we were pleased with how things went today."
Yale and Columbia rank first and second in the country, respectively, and finished in that order in the 55th race for the Dodge Cup. The Bulldogs led wire-to-wire on their home course, but it was a close contest for much of the race. Yale won with a time of 5:34.99 and Columbia eventually pushed away from the Quakers to finish second at 5:37.13. The Quakers crossed the finish line in 5:45.40.
Next Saturday, the Quakers vie for the Wood-Hammond Cup with Princeton. Georgetown will join the Ivy rivals as a guest on Lake Carnegie.