PHILADELPHIA - In the first spring race under head coach Colin Farrell, the No. 11 University of Pennsylvania lightweights topped No. 12 Mercyhurst in the varsity race on Saturday morning on the Schuylkill River.
The Quakers opened the season against the Lakers for the second straight season and began the 2015 campaign with a varsity win. It was a clear, if not chilly, morning in Philadelphia and each team dealt with some mild wind conditions.
In the varsity race, Penn's first and second varsity boats topped Mercyhurst. The top boat for the Quakers pulled ahead and held a comfortable lead near the finish. The Red and Blue stopped the clock at 5:49.3. The second varsity was in a near dead heat with the Lakers. At the finish, the Quakers nudged across the line just ahead of Mercyhurst. Penn's official time was 5:57.5, while the Lakers clocked out at 5:57.9.
The day started with the fours, and the Lakers came out on top. The visitors finished in 6:49.1, while Penn came across the finish line in 7:17.8. The Quakers were also runner-ups in the freshman race. Mercyhurst won with a time of 5:50.1, while Penn's freshmen finished in 5:58.1 and the third varsity stopped the clock at 5:59.8.
The Quakers return to the waters of the Schuylkill River next week for the first cup race of the season. Penn will take on Cornell for the rights to the Matthews-Leonard Cups on Saturday and also welcome Harvard as a visitor to the regatta.