PHILADELPHIA - On a day when the Quakers celebrated the Fred W. Leonard boat dedication, Penn swept the varsity and freshmen races against Delaware and Saint Joseph's Saturday on the Schuylkill River.
To start the day, the second freshman fours were joined by a cold tailwind that sustained throughout much of the morning. The Quakers set the tone for the day with a six-second win over Delaware at 7:13.0.
The freshmen then took their place at the starting line and posted their first official win of the spring. A close race to start, the Quakers pulled away for a decisive win. Penn's time of 5:58.8 was nearly 13 seconds better than the Blue Hens.
The second varsity followed suit with a wire-to-wire win. It was close throughout, but the Red and Blue clinched the win with a time of 5:59.3 - just better than Delaware's 6:01.5.
Then the varsity capped the Penn sweep with another wire-to-wire win. In this one, the Quakers pushed out to open water and topped the Blue Hens (5:55.2) with the best time of the day at 5:50.9.
Against Saint Joseph's, the winning trend continued. The varsity claimed their second win of the day with an open water victory and the freshmen were victorious in the second varsity race. The first freshman boat led wire-to-wire, while the second varsity also topped the Hawks. The only time Penn didn't cross the finish first, the combined third varisity and second freshmen finished behind Saint Joseph's third varsity.
The boat dedication took place between the Delaware and Saint Joseph's races. The "Fred W. Leonard" was donated in honor of the former Penn head coach. Leonard spent 27 seasons at the University of Pennsylvania. During that time, the Quakers recorded four-straight undefeated cup race seasons (1975-78) and claimed the 1976 Varsity Eight EARC championship.
Penn will carry the momentum from Saturday into the first cup race of the season on April 7. The Quakers will travel to Ithaca, N.Y., to race for the Matthews-Leonard Cups against Cornell. Harvard will also attend the regatta as a guest.