ITHACA, N.Y. - Against two of the top five teams in the nation, the University of Pennsylvania lightweight rowing team could not reclaim the Matthews-Leonard Cup on Saturday morning. The varsity finished behind No. 5 Cornell and No. 1 Harvard at the Cayuga Inlet.
Harvard proved that it was worthy of the No. 1 national ranking. The Crimson won comfortably as a guest in the Matthews-Leonard Cup race with a time of 6:02.8. On their home course, Cornell was also able to put open water between the Quakers, who finished at 6:21.9, and held on to the cup.
In the freshman race, the Quakers got off to a tough start and were not able to recover. Harvard pulled away from the Red and Blue, but Cornell was still in their sights. However, the Big Red freshman kept Penn at bay and topped the Quakers by four seconds. Penn's final time was 6:16.7.
The second varsity race went to the home team. Cornell led wire-to-wire and won handily with a time of 6:16.6. Penn was with Harvard until the Crimson began to pull away in the middle 1,000 meters. Penn once again finished four seconds back as the second varsity stopped the clock at 6:36.3.
In Penn's only other race of the day, the Quakers placed third in the third varsity race. Cornell was once again the top team with a winning time of 6:36.4. Harvard had the Red and Blue by a few lengths at the finish as Penn finished at 7:06.3.
Cup season continues next week with the Dodge Cup on the line against Yale and Columbia. The 2012 edition of that race will take place in New York, N.Y., next Saturday.
Second Varsity Eight
Third Varsity Eight
Harvard A 7:35.9
Harvard B 7:42.0