Men’s crew defends Onota Cup at home

Men’s crew defended its home course against Bates, Ithaca and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Saturday. Despite bleak weather, including harsh winds and a mixture of snow and sleet that turned to rain, the 1V and 2V boats earned first in their respective races as the novice eight took second to Ithaca.

The 1V was the first crew on the water on Saturday, swiftly capturing a lead and setting the tone for the men’s victories later in the day. The 1V dominated the competition from the start. With about 750 meters to go, the Ephs cemented their lead and closed the door on the rival crews. The 1V rowed to victory with a time of 6:26.0, with Bates coming in second with a time of 6:43.7. Ithaca finished in third with a time of 6:45.8 and the Coast Guard Academy finished fourth in 6:49.1. The 1V defended the Onota Cup with their decisive victory.

Following the 1V’s conquest, the 2V displayed a similar feat of success, destroying its closest competitor in Bates by a solid 22 seconds. Despite deteriorating weather conditions and increasing rain and wind, the 2V managed to seize the Berkshire Plate from Bates with a time of 6:36.4. The Coast Guard Academy finished in 7:02.0, followed by Ithaca in 7:20.4.

“Because both awards [the Onota Cup and the Berkshire Plate] were donated by recent alums, I think they are especially important to the team,” co-captain Joey Kiernan ’11 said. “Winning the Berkshire Plate for the first time was definitely pretty exciting for the team.”

As Bates did not sponsor a novice boat, the men’s novice eight competed only against crews from Ithaca and the Coast Guard Academy. The rookie crew steadily overpowered the Coast Guard Academy but fell to Ithaca, which finished in a time of 6:49.2. The men finished about five seconds later, clocking in at 6:54.6, while the Coast Guard Academy crossed the finish line at 7:40.9. The novice eight’s time showed significant improvement from the boat’s last race against Ithaca, in which the men lost by a 10-second deficit.

“I think the novices are really on the cusp of something amazing,” Kiernan said. “After a rough start to the season, they have really started moving in the right direction. After a solid margin over Wesleyan last week and closing the gap this week to Ithaca, I think they are ready to step up and give it their all … this weekend at New Englands.”

The men will travel to Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass., on Saturday to compete in the New England Championships.

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