SARATOGA, N.Y. - The University of Pennsylvania women's rowing team had a successful trip to Saratoga for the Doc Hosea Invitational. The Quakers were victorious in three of the eight races in which they competed, led by the Varsity 8 which won both of its races and claimed the Orange Challenge Cup in the process.
In its first race, contested Saturday night, the Varsity 8 knocked off Syracuse and Northeastern in addition to Rhode Island and Boston University. With the wins over the Orange and the Huskies, Penn claimed the Orange Challenge Cup for the first time since 2012, and just the third time since 1995. Penn's winning time was 7:14.49.
The Varsity 8 followed that up with another win on Sunday, defeating five other boats with a winning time of 6:46.80. Among the boat's victims was Cornell. Overall, the Varsity 8 went 9-0 on the weekend.
The Second Varsity 8 also gained a win on Sunday, beating four other boats in a time of 6:55.50. On Saturday, the 2V8 was second to Syracuse in a five-boat race, clocking 7:11.27. Overall, the Second Varsity 8 went 7-1 on the weekend.
The Varsity 4 went a combined 6-2 on the weekend. On Saturday, Penn clocked 7:59.57 and finished behind Syracuse (7:44.02) but ahead of Northeastern, Rhode Island and BU. On Sunday, Penn's time was 7:58.51 which was behind Cornell (7:49.14) but ahead of UMass, URI, and BU.
The Varsity 4B finished second in a pair of three-boat races on the weekend. On Saturday, the Quakers clocked 8:13.31 to finish behind Syracuse (7:48.90) but ahead of UMass (8:27.32). Opn Sunday, Penn was timed in 8:02.62 to finish behind Cornell (7:52.60) but ahead of UMass (8:08.49).
"Our whole team gained some valuable experience from this weekend," said head coach Wesley Ng. "When boat races are close like they were in the varsity, it's a reminder to everyone of what makes rowing so exciting. All of those little decisions can start to add up if you pay attention to them.
"I was really pleased to have the weather cooperate for a weekend of racing this early in April. I also want to give a special thanks to the Saratoga Rowing Association for hosting and putting in a tremendous effort."
Penn is off next weekend, before traveling to Clemson for the Clemson Invitational the weekend of April 16-17.