By Giovanni Gray, news correspondent

The Woodbury Cup resides at Henderson Boathouse for the first time in three years after the Northeastern women’s rowing team swept Duke and Columbia Universities in New Jersey on Saturday to win the meet.

The Huskies’ varsity eight boat took first by topping the Columbia Lions by four seconds, posting a time of 6:40.5. The first varsity four crew also topped the Lions by three seconds in the 2,000-meter race, posting a time of 7:30.2. Both the second varsity eight and second varsity four crews earned first-place finishes, with times of 6:48.4 and 7:40.9, respectively.

“The varsity eight had a great beginning,” senior Chelsea Brown said. “The first 500 meters were good, but Columbia definitely challenged us in the third 500.”

While Columbia never passed NU, the Lions managed to close the gap.

“Our second varsity four boat started the day on a good note,” Brown said. “They kind of just set the tone for the rest of the day.”

The Huskies finally caught a break in the weather after an offseason plagued by snow and a race that ended early last week as a result of poor water conditions. NU managed to take back the Woodbury Cup, which has eluded the team for the past two seasons, from Columbia. The Huskies are 16-8 all-time against the Lions. Duke was a newcomer to the race this season, as it is usually a contest just between the Huskies and Lions.

This weekend, the Huskies are back in Boston, competing against local rivals Boston University (BU) and the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst, while also squaring off against Brown University. The BU crew is fresh off of a weekend in which it was swept by No. 9 Yale University, while Brown is coming off of a second-place tie at last weekend’s Lake Natoma Invitational in Sacramento, Calif.

“We’re really happy we won, but Brown is ranked No. 3 [in the country], so they’re going to be a bigger fight,” Brown said. “We started this week off with the mentality that we’re facing the top dog.”

The Huskies are just a few weeks from both the Eastern Sprints rowing championships and the Colonial Athletic Association championship, in which the Huskies will be competing for a berth in the national championship.

Photo courtesy Justin Casterline, Northeastern Athletics