WORCESTER, Mass. - For the first time in program history, the University of Pennsylvania lightweights took home the Kilpatrick Cup with a win in the freshman race at EARC Sprints. The Quakers, who did so in record time on Sunday on Lake Quinsigamond, claimed the program's first win at Sprints since 1976 and the first for the Penn freshmen at Sprints since 1967.
Last season, the Penn freshmen broke a 23-year medal drought with a bronze. This season, the Quakers took home the Kilpatrick Cup -- which has been awarded since 2002 -- for the first time.
"This group came together in a special way this year," said freshman coach Colin Farrell. "They put in so much work and you want to see it pay off, but you never know for sure if it will. So to finally do this as a group, they were ecstatic and I was so proud of them."
The Red and Blue earned the win with an event-record time of 5:43.727. The Penn freshmen were the only boat with a record-breaking performance on a day that featured fast conditions. They topped three Ivy opponents as well as Navy by open water. Harvard and Cornell jumped out early, but within the first 25 strokes, the Quakers were pushing out in front. After the first 500 meters, Penn was clearly in the lead and pushed its advantage to a length by the midway point. The Quakers left no doubt down the stretch and secured a trip back to Philadelphia with the Kilpatrick Cup. Harvard was second at 5:47.486 and Cornell was third at 5:48.614.
For the varsity, the Quakers were fifth in their heat with a time of 6:01.69. That finish pushed Penn into the petite final with Dartmouth, Navy and Georgetown. The Quakers finished third in that race with a time of 5:51.791 to place eighth overall.
Penn's second varsity finished fifth overall with a time of 6:29.110. Princeton won the event with a time of 5:58.175.