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KJ Mulam / Staff Photographer

The Light Blue moved from No. 3 to No. 1 in the national rankings last week.

On the warmest day of the year thus far, Columbia men’s lightweight rowing had a day for the books, hoisting the Dodge Cup over visitors Yale and Penn.

Last week, the Lions were ranked first in a USRowing poll of college coaches, moving up from their previous standing at No. 3.

The meet between the three Ivies was established in 1955 in honor of Marcellus Hartley Dodge Sr., a familiar name on Columbia’s campus and a coxswain on Columbia’s rowing team during his time here. Dodge Sr. graduated from Columbia in 1903, after which time he went on to donate, among others facets of campus, Earl Hall, the fountains on Low Plaza, and Hartley Hall; his estate underwrote the construction of the Dodge Fitness Center, while Dodge Hall was posthumously named in his honor.

The Dodge Cup has traditionally been a tough matchup for Columbia. In its 63-year history, Yale has taken home the prize a whopping 39 times, while Penn has come up with a win 15 times. Columbia’s last three victories came in 2015, 2003, and 1964. But this weekend, No. 1 Columbia downed Yale and Penn at home at Overpeck Park in the first and second varsity eights. They found less favorable results, however, in the third and fourth varsity eights.

The day began with the fourth varsity eight race in which Columbia fell to Yale, lagging almost 10 seconds off the pace; enjoying an 8-10 mile-per-hour tail wind, the Lions were able to keep the Quakers at bay and maintain second place. Next up, the third varsity eight was also defeated by the Bulldogs, though by a narrower margin of only 3.4 seconds.

Against a 6-7 miles-per-hour headwind, the undefeated second varsity eight continued its hot streak, pulling over seven seconds ahead of second-place finisher Yale. To win the cup, the first varsity eight overtook Yale’s early lead, building up the margin second by second to earn victory by a cool 8.8 seconds. Fittingly, the Lions reclaimed the Dodge Cup only three days after being named No. 1 in the rankings.

Columbia will look to continue this successful streak next week in Boston at the Geiger Cup against MIT and Cornell.

aeshna.chandra@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

Lightweight rowing Rowing Columbia Lions
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