CAMDEN, N.J. The University of Pennsylvania women’s rowing team had a successful day at the EAWRC Sprints Sunday on the Cooper River. Penn closed out its season in grand fashion with three first-place finishes in the finals, including one Grand final and two medals in the process. The Quakers finished fourth in the Charles G. Willing Team Trophy standings with 45 points, three points ahead of Princeton. The team trophy includes points from the varsity 8, second varsity 8, novice 8 and varsity 4 "A". Yale and Brown tied forfirst with 63 points.
“Sprints were a huge step forward for our program,” said Head Coach Mike Lane.“It proves not only to our athletes but the rest of the league that we are for real and we are here to stay. The results on Sunday are a huge motivator as we move into our summer training and next year, the kids have tasted success and want to improve on that for next year”
The second freshman 8 accomplished quite a feat by winning Penn’s first Eastern Sprints Championship since 1983. They finished first in both their morning heat and afternoon final. In the morning, they came in at 8:09.957, while in the afternoon they took the Grand final at a time of 7:39.224 in an exciting race where they came from behind and beat Cornell in the final strokes crossing the finish line just one second ahead of the Big Red.
The freshman 8 won the silver medal by finishing second to a dominant Brown crew in the Grand final, coming in at 7:03.769. It was closest margin that any team has had this year against the Bears.Penn finished ahead of traditional powers Yale and Syracuse. The Quakers qualified for the Grand final by coming in first in their morning heat at 7:37.767; 24 seconds ahead of second-place Rutgers
The varsity 8 faced a challenging race in their morning heat, finishing at 7:09.782. Penn rebounded nicely in the Petite final, taking first place, coming in at 6:50.525. They edged Columbia by four seconds. The varsity 8 finished seventh out of 18 overall, their best finish since 2005.
Another top finish came in the third varsity 4 “B”. They finished the morning heat in fourth at 8:46.156. In the Petite final, the unranked crew edged Rhode Island by just one second, clocking in at 8:19.740 to take seventh place overall.
The second varsity 8 also qualified for the Grand final, for the first time since 1999, when they finished fifth. In their morning heat they finished second at 7:20.118. In the afternoon, they came in sixth place at 7:03.759. Brown won the race, finishing at 6:39.
Penn’s sixth boat that competed was the third varsity 4 “A” which came in fourth in the morning heat at 8:47.319. In the Petite final, Penn finished fourth, 10th overall, clocking in at 8:14.087. Boston University won the event, coming in just under eight minutes.
Yale’s varsity 8 won the Grand final, finishing at 6:28.600. The Bulldogs also took the Ivy League championship. Penn finished fourth in the League standings. Sunday's success marks Penn's best finish at Sprints since 1980 when the Quakers undefeated varsity 8 placed first. It is also the first time since 1980 that Penn had three 8's qualify for a Grand final.