PHILADELPHIA - On a rainy day along the Schuylkill River, the University of Pennsylvania lightweights opened the 2014 spring season with a pair of victories over No. 12 Mercyhurst. The varsity and freshmen each won for the 10th-ranked Quakers.
Penn opened the season with a varsity victory in the first race. Despite the rain, the water was flat and the Red and Blue raced out to an early lead that they did not relent. The Quakers won with open water over the Lakers and stopped the clock at 5:48.4. That was 10 seconds better than Mercyhurst, who hit the finish line at 5:58.7.
Penn's freshman boat also won by an open-water margin. In their first spring race for the Quakers, the freshmen broke the six-minute mark and finished in 5:57.8. The Lakers came in at 6:11.8 and were followed by Penn's second varsity at 6:26.5.
Next Saturday, the Quakers head to Ithaca, N.Y., where they will vie for the Matthews-Leonard Cups with Cornell. Harvard will also join as a guest in the cup races.