Virginia won five races, including the men's and women's varsity eight events, in the Occoquan Invitational Regatta yesterday at Lake Occoquan. The Cavaliers beat favored George Washington in both varsity eight races.
Three years ago, Virginia Coach Jeff Soons could field only two men's boats.
"We now have two heavyweight crews in practice every day and that creates much better competition," said Soons, who rowed for Princeton. "We've shown good improvement the last two years. I thought we'd do well here, but how well we did was a pleasant surprise."
George Washington defeated George Mason by six lengths to win the men's lightweight eight race. The Colonials' only other victory was by 2 1/2 lengths over Virginia in the men's novice lightweight eight race.
In Annapolis, the Princeton men's lightweight crews defeated Navy in the varsity eight, second varsity and freshmen eight races on the Severn River. In women's crew, Navy swept Williams College.
In the lightweight eight race, Princeton took a three-seat lead, doubled that by the 500-meter mark and won by two lengths.
In local scholastic crew, T.C. Williams won seven of 17 races, including the boys varsity eight, in the Sandy Run Regatta at Lake Occoquan. Williams was in a virtual dead heat with four other boats midway through the boys varsity eight race, began to pull away in the next 500 meters and won by a length in 4:42.6 over Washington-Lee and Woodbridge.
Washington-Lee finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Williams in the girls varsity eight race in 5:28.6.
In other boys races, Williams finished one-two in the varsity fours and defeated Yorktown in the lightweight eights. Woodbridge edged Gar-Field in the second varsity eight race in 5:23.8. Washington-Lee defeated Williams by six seats in the girls lightweight eights and Yorktown won the girls junior eights.