Varsity Heavyweights Defeat Rutgers in New Brunswick, Varsity Lightweights Sweep UPenn and Columbia
By Alec Walczak
The first race of the day was the varsity eight at 8:30 AM. Because the Bucknell first varsity boat was competing on the west coast this past weekend, the race was a Delaware/Rutgers duel. The lane draw meant that the Delaware heavies started almost a length down, but were on the inside of a gradual turn in the course. The UD heavies inched their way up the Rugters 1V throughout the first thousand meters and gained the lead as they went around the turn. Moves by Rutgers in the last thousand meters were not enough, and the Scarlet Knights finished 1.3 seconds behind Blue Hen crew, who finished in 6:11.8. The victory marked the first time Delaware’s 1V has defeated Rutgers’ top heavyweight crew in an outright duel race.
A young second varsity crew from Delaware finished third in their race with a time of 6:37.5. The boat improved their speed from the first weekend to this race and its goal is to continually do so.
The lightweight team’s first race took place on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, PA for their annual dual race with the University of Pennsylvania. Under bright skies and a mild headwind, the second freshman four was the first boat to race for the Fightin’ Blue Hens. While the four stayed competitive with the Quakers for the majority of the race, they were unable to overcome an early deficit and finished in 7:45.7.
The 2V was the next boat off the line at 10 AM. The Delaware and Penn second varsities remained competitive for the first eight hundred meters, but a sharp turn and strong move by the Delaware crew extended a two-seat lead to eight. Penn took a few moves throughout the middle thousand to build momentum, yet came up short as UD finished up by open water and crossed the line in 6:20.9, 4.6 seconds ahead of Penn’s crew.
The third race of the day was the anticipated match up between Delaware and Penn’s first varsity lightweight crews. Delaware’s top boat found an early advantage in the first 500 meters and increased their lead to a full-length by the thousand-meter mark. The Fightin’ 150s held their lead throughout and finished with a 3.9 second victory in 6:10.7.
Delaware’s top freshman boat was unable to overcome Penn’s freshman lightweight crew, and completed the course in 6:20.8, one-length behind the Quakers.
The final morning race for the UD lightweights was the third varsity fours competition. Delaware’s winning four never relinquished its command of the race and posted a 3.3 second win over Penn in 6:58.6. Delaware’s third place four crossed the line in 7:11.7 and a guest crew from St. Joseph’s rounded out the field.
Later in the day on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, NJ, the Blue Hens competed in the day’s second duel with the Columbia University Lions.
The freshman eight was the first event, and Delaware’s novice crew gave a great effort, but lost to a strong Columbia freshman boat by 2.8 seconds.
The freshman eight loss would be the only defeat for the Blue Hens that afternoon. In the next event, the UDel second and third varsity boats defeated Columbia’s 2V by wide margins. UD’s 3V finished 5.5 seconds behind their 2V, who crossed the line in 6:47.5. Columbia’s boat finished in 7:07.5.
In the final and closest race of the day, Delaware’s seventh ranked varsity eight lined up against the Lion’s eighth ranked crew. The Blue Hen’s built an early lead off the start and a series of moves brought the advantage to eight seats by the thousand. An eager Columbia boat took a few moves of their own in the second thousand to cut the deficit to six seats, but the Delaware lead would remain throughout. The Blue Hen’s finished in 6:25.4 to Columbia’s 6:27.5.
The Blue Hen heavyweights compete on the Cooper River this weekend for the Knecht Cup, and the lightweights travel to Connecticut to take on Dartmouth College.