PHILADELPHIA - With snow on the river banks in the last weekend in October, the University of Pennsylvania men's lightweight rowing team found some success on the water at the Head of the Schuylkill and the Princeton Chase this weekend. The varsity eight finished ninth among 27 boats and the freshman placed 14th out of 40.
After the first winter storm of the year swept through the Northeast on Saturday, there was snow on the ground and a chill in the air for the Princeton Chase. But the water conditions were good and so were most of the results for the Quakers.
There were four Penn boats in the varsity eight to start the day. Penn's top boat earned a top-10 finish in the 27-boat race with a time of 13:46.26. It was a half-minute behind the Harvard boat that won the race. The other three boats for the Red and Blue finished 21st, 22nd and 27th.
"Our top boat really closed the distance on most of the competition from the Head of the Charles and we're happy about that," said head coach Nick Baker. "There is still a lot of room for improvement, but it was a better race for us. The guys are really doing the right things to make us faster."
Penn had another three boats in the fours. The Quakers top boat finished in the middle of the pack with a 17th-place showing at 15:55.08. The second boat for Penn posted a time just four seconds behind their teammates to finish 20th, while the third Penn boat was 34th. Harvard took this race as well. The Crimson boat finished a little more than a minute faster.
The cold and wet weather conditions were a factor on the Schuylkill river for Penn's freshmen at the Head of the Schuylkill. In the novice eight, Penn placed 14th among the 40 boats in the head race with a time of 14:18.50. It was a little less than two minutes behind the time posted by Princeton's first-place boat. The novice four started the weekend for the Red and Blue and posted a 12th-place showing. The Quakers finished in 18:19.87, about three minutes behind La Salle's winning time.
There is just one more fall race left for the Quakers. Next Saturday, Penn heads to New Brunswick, N.J., for the Rutgers Fall Classic.