Lightweights Finish First in Home Finale


PHILADELPHIA - In the final regatta on the Schuylkill River for two seniors on the University of Pennsylvania men's lightweight rowing team, the Quakers were victorious over both M.I.T. and Saint Joseph's in every race Saturday morning. Seniors Kellen Coppola and Newton Sears manned the First Varsity boat in a sub-six minute victory.

All three teams in the Varsity 8 race finished under the six-minute mark, however, the Quakers topped both M.I.T. and Saint Joseph's with a season-best time of 5:51.4 in the 2,000-meter event. The race was close, but the Red and Blue were the undeniable winner with M.I.T. finishing in 5:56.6 and the Hawks placing third at 5:58.3. Jason Bernstein was the coxswain for Penn, guiding Nathan Keane, Paul Shay, Peter Ciullo, Steve Lang, Andrew Voss and Andy Macalaster in addition to Sears and Coppola in the winning boat.

Prior to Penn's win in the Varsity 8, the First Freshman boat was victorious for the Quakers in the Novice race. In calm waters that lasted throughout the competition, the Red and Blue nearly broke six minutes in this race as well. Penn defeated M.I.T. with a time of 6:00.3. They held off their counterparts who finished in 6:03.2.

Facing Saint Joseph's heavyweight boat in the Second Varsity 8, the Quakers once again came out on top. Penn blew past their Philadelphia rivals with a time of 6:03.2, winning comfortably against the heavyweight competition that clocked out at 6:13.0.

Penn finished its successful day on the Schylkill with its Third Varsity and Second Freshman getting a chance to race, timing themselves in an exhibition with one another. The Third Varsity finished the course in a time of 6:13.3. The Second Freshman boat finished at 6:28.1.

The postseason begins next week for the lightweights when they head to Worcester, Mass., for the 2009 version of the EARC Sprints on May 10.