PHILADELPHIA – After a commanding performance last Saturday against Saint Joseph’s and Boston College -- four wins in four races -- the University of Pennsylvania women’s rowing team gets into its Cup season Saturday as the Quakers meet No. 7 Yale and Columbia for the Connell Cup.
Penn will once again race four boats on Saturday’s event, which will be hosted by Columbia at Overpeck Park near Leonia, N.J. Racing starts with the Varsity 4C race at 8:20 a.m. and will continue with races every 20 minutes until the Varsity 8 caps the event at 9:40 a.m.
The Connell Cup has been contested every year since 1975 with two exceptions (1978, 1995). The cup started with the Quakers and Yale, with Columbia joining the fray in 1994. Penn has won the Varsity 8 race in this event three times (1980, 1991, 1999). Overall, Yale has dominated the Varsity 8 race, winning that race each of the last two years and all but one time dating back to 2000.
“The Connell Cup goes back to 1975, and I’m sure our athletes are excited to line up next to their Ivy League competitors in such a storied race,” said Penn’s first-year head coach Wesley Ng, a Yale graduate. “We are getting healthier as a squad and continuing to make progress in how we approach practice, and this will be a great learning opportunity for us. Even though it’s tempting to use historical context for race results, we are only looking at how much boat speed we can produce on the basis of this year and continue to improve that week by week.”