PELHAM, N.Y.- The Dartmouth men's heavyweight crew team won two races in its first races of the 2012 season on Saturday (March 31) against Holy Cross, MIT and Columbia.

"Today was a strong start for the lower boats, especially the freshmen," said head coach Topher Bordeau. "They raced aggressively and well in their Dartmouth debut. The 2V was pushed all the way down the course by a quality Holy Cross crew, and the varsity fought hard but couldn't match Columbia's second half. Columbia looked strong, skilled, and very aggressive in the second half of the race.

There's a lot of work to be done in all of the crews. Whether it be more selection, training, or technical development, and I'm eager to see where we can go from here."

Dartmouth, which only boated a first varsity eight, second varsity eight and a novice boat, claimed the second varsity eight race with a time of 5:58.5 ahead of Holy Cross that crossed the finish line with a time of 6:0400.

The second varsity crew rowed an aggressive piece and led wire-to-wire. They were pushed all the way down the course by an opponent that refused to give in, but they managed to keep the upperhand and took the win.

In the marque, first varsity eight races, Dartmouth took second place in an exciting race with fellow Ivy League member, Columbia. Columbia took first with a time of 5:48.70 just ahead of the Big Green who took second with a time of 5:53.90. Holy Cross was a close third with a time of 6:04.5 while MIT took fourth with a time of 6:24.60. 

The varsity crew charged off the line aggressively, but Columbia countered on the shift that gained them an advantage of a few seats. The crews traded margin for much of the first thousand meters, with Columbia slowly extending their lead to six seats at the 1,000-meter mark. Dartmouth used a strong third 500 to get back to within four seats with about 700 meters to go, but Columbia responded with an impressive sprint that opened the margin to just over a length at the finish line.

The Dartmouth novices also won their first race of the season. The Big Green freshman finished six second ahead of Columbia's novice boat, with a time of 6:05.70. Columbia took second with a time of 6:11.90 while MIT finished with a time of 6:14.40 and Holy Cross rounded out the race with a time of 6:20.50.

The freshmen acquitted themselves well in their first race for Dartmouth. earning a five-seat lead in their start and high strokes, and shifting down to a very long, very aggressive rhythm that allowed them to slowly build their lead over the entire race.

Dartmouth is back on the water next weekend when they battle Ivy League foe, Yale, for the Olympic Axe on Saturday (Apr. 7).

First Varsity Eight

1. Columbia-5:48.7
2. Dartmouth -5:53.9
3. Holy Cross -6:04.5
4. MIT-6:24.6

Second Varsity Eight
1. Dartmouth -5:58.5
2. Holy Cross -6:04.0

First Varsity Four
1. Columbia-6:50.7
2. Holy Cross -7:02.9

Novice Eight
1. Dartmouth-6:05.7
2. Columbia-6:11.9
3. MIT - 6:14.4
4. Holy Cross -6:20.5

Dartmouth Lineups
First Varsity 8 +:
Cox: Ellie Levey, Stroke: Jesse Reisner, 7-Quinn Harper
6-Tyler Maloney, 5-Hunter Dray, 4-Joseph Polwrek, 3-Graeme Calloway, 2-Matthew Gallira, 1-Brendan Stoner

Second Varsity 8+: Cox: Julia Herringer, Stroke: Nate Kania, 7-Jack Heise, 6-John Strizich, 5-EJ Miller, 4-Ryan Ganong, 3-Matthew Oatway, 2-Mike Odokara-Okigbo, 1-David Mulrey

Novice 8+: Cox: Alexander Steele, Stroke: Andrew Kenealy, 7-Robert Truesdale, 6- Stuart Maeder, 5- Richard Newsome-White, 4-Henry Franco, 3-Bryan Rogers, 2- Maximilian Kinne, 1- Paul Champeau