The women’s crew team travelled to Cherry Hill, N.J., last weekend for the larger Knecht Cup, where they found plenty of success. Meanwhile, the men’s heavyweight and lightweight crew teams hit the Potomac to compete in The George Washington Invitational and the J.J. Forster Cup, respectively. The heavyweights competed against the Naval Academy, Drexel University and the Florida Institute of Technology, while the lightweights went head-to-head against Navy.  Despite being on their home water, the men fell short on a series of photo finishes.

The women kicked off the day at 7 a.m. Saturday morning with a third-place finish from the lightweights’ top boat. The performance qualified them for the final Sunday, where they were able to secure sixth place. The same group competed in the women’s varsity eight competition, where they ended up falling by 8.48 seconds to the Georgetown openweight first varsity boat, which clocked a 6:38.17 to win the three-boat heat. The openweights and lightweights each took fourth in their finals.

The women’s varsity four secured a lane in the Grand Final for Sunday, where they took fifth overall with a time of 7:51.96. The second varsity four also found their way into the Grand Final, taking fifth after dropping 16 seconds from their preliminary time. The lightweight four finished behind Princeton in their preliminary heat and moved on to the Grand Final, earning a fifth-place finish with a time of 7:42.02.

The women’s second varsity eight boat qualified later that morning for the Petite Final on Saturday after finishing fourth in its preliminary heat. The Hoyas narrowly edged out the competition in the final Sunday, ahead of Harvard-Radcliffe and Ithaca. The lightweight women’s varsity quad capped off the weekend of racing with a third-place finish in the final following a dominant victory in the preliminary heat.

The Hoya men faced Navy on Friday with a series of lineup changes stemming from injuries, coupled with experimental lineup changes from Head Coach Luke Agnini. Those decisions almost paid off as the first varsity boat came just inches from victory, but the Midshipmen held them off by just 0.63 seconds. In the second varsity race, Georgetown fell behind quickly, failing to establish the rhythm needed to recover.

The next morning, the top boat lost the first race of the day to the Florida Institute of Technology. The second varsity boat responded quickly with a commanding 11-second victory. The third varsity boat finally competed Saturday morning against Navy, but was unable to seriously challenge the Midshipmen, finishing the race in 6:13.92.

In the second session on Saturday, the Hoyas took on the Drexel Dragons. The top boat trailed the Dragons by seven seconds. Georgetown showed promising signs in the second varsity race, despite crossing the line second. Following a sluggish first 500 meters, freshman stroke Owen O’Brien Powers led an aggressive pace down the stretch and final 500m, posting a strong 5:50.41. The Dragons completed the sweep in the third varsity race, fending off the Blue and Gray to cap off the weekend.

The lack of experience in the top boat did not seem to phase the Hoyas, according to Agnini, as they remained able to compete admirably against some strong competition, finishing within striking distance all around.

“We had a few guys who had their first race in the varsity ever and that experience will pay off as the season continues” Agnini said earlier this week. “This weekend was a great opportunity in all the boats for guys to be given a shot and give their best on race day.”

The lightweights were unable to hold off being swept by the Navy midshipmen Saturday after the top two boats were edged out in photo finishes. The first varsity boat finished with the time 5:44.1 and the second varsity boat at 5:46.3.

Both women’s teams will compete April 20. The lightweight squad will travel to Princeton for the Princeton Duel, while the openweights will return to Cherry Hill for the Cherry Hill Invitational. Both men’s teams will be on the road over Easter break as well, with the lightweights squaring off against the Princeton Tigers and Penn Quakers in Philadelphia, while the heavyweights will be in Princeton, N.J., on April 20 to take on Holy Cross, Temple and Marist.


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