PHILADELPHIA – The Yale heavyweight crew team defended the Blackwell Cup for the fourth consecutive year with wins against Columbia and Penn in the varsity eight on Saturday. The cup went to the winner of the varsity eight race, where the Bulldogs finished first by a margin of more than six seconds. Yale's four also won its race, defeating Penn's four by more than 11 seconds. Yale's second and third varsity eights each finished in second place by narrow margins.
"It is exciting to return to campus again this year in possession of the Blackwell Cup," said captain Jon Morgan. "This is not only a magnificent and historic trophy but always marks fierce racing by all three schools."
The morning started with the running of the third varsity eight race, an event that pitted Yale's 3V against Columbia's 3V, Penn's 1F and Penn's 2F. Yale started a few seats down on the stagger in lane three but quickly started taking back seats. The Bulldogs had difficulty keeping a straight line through the body of the race and ultimately finished second behind Penn's 1F by just 0.7 seconds.
In the second varsity race Yale was in lane one, starting up this time to account for the stagger. The Bulldogs had Columbia on their starboard side and fell back on the Lions by about a boat length in the middle thousand of the race. Yale took a few seats back with 750 meters to go and a few more during the sprint. At the finish, however, Yale had a few seats left to make up and would cross the line exactly one second behind the Lions.
The varsity eight race for the Blackwell Cup started somewhat similar to the second varsity race, an early back-and-forth between Columbia and Yale. The Bulldogs raced the Lions through the first 1000 meters, pulling away from Penn. Yale came through Columbia approaching the last 500 meters with a decisive move, eventually breaking open on the Lions while the Quakers launched a dramatic comeback. Yale sprinted to the line, extending its lead while Penn continued to close. At the finish is was Yale in first by 6.2 seconds over Columbia, with another 1.5 seconds back to Penn in third place.
Yale's four wrapped things up for the Bulldogs in Philadelphia with a big win. Yale took a lead right from the start and cruised to the finish, coming in 11.4 seconds ahead of Penn's four. Columbia did not field a boat in this category.
Yale will race at home next week against Cornell and Princeton for the Carnegie Cup, the last dual race before the Eastern Sprints.
Third Varsity/Freshman Eight:
Penn 1F 5:33.7
Yale 3V 5:34.4
Columbia 3V 5:40.8
Penn 2F 5:49.1
Second Varsity Eight:
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity