The University crew, by its defeat of Yale Saturday, brought to a successful conclusion a season which more nearly approached the normal standard of college athletics than have other sports in the University this year. Owing to the curtailment of all sport last year no first boat veterans were available for the eight. However, the seating of the crew was not affected during the entire period of training by any of its members leaving to enter the service.
Coach Haines in Complete Charge.
As Coach R. F. Herrick '90, through the pressure of war work, was unable to devote any of his time to the coaching of the oarsmen, Coach Haines, Herrick's lieutenant for the past two years, was at the start of the season designated as head of the crew policy. Throughout the season the latter took complete charge of the first University and 1921 shells, while Coaches Brown and A. Beane '11 directed the lower University and Freshman boats.
Few Candidates For Initial Workout.
When the crew squad was first called out by Acting Captain F. Parkman '19, on March 4, only 50 upperclassmen and 45 Freshmen reported for the initial workouts on the machines. Owing to the fuel situation this pre-season practice was carried on at the Locker Building instead of the Newell Boathouse. The next week, however, saw the oarsmen in the tank at the latter place. Though various experimental shifts were made during the remainder of the season, the University eight was at that time seated as it rowed both Yale and Princeton, with one exception,--D. L. Withington '20, No. 6, had not yet joined the squad, while G. C. Noyes '20, who was later given a berth in the second boat, was then on Crew A.
Took to River March 21.
It was not until March 21 that Coach Haines set his charges out on the river. Contrary to the former, custom, no attempt was made to have the boat take to the water earlier by rowing in Lynn Harbor. The first 1921 shell appeared on the Charles on the same date. With the actual opening of the season on the water, the squad materially increased so that 16 full crews were launched daily.
Aimed to Provide Physical Training.
Recognizing the duty of the University to render all its physically fit for war service, the Rowing Committee carried out its intention of conducting the training so as to bring about the physical betterment of as many men as possible, as much as to develop a single crew. In accordance with this purpose, this number of boats was kept on the river with no cuts made in the squad.
R. S. Emmet '19 Elected Captain.
Soon after the work on the river began, R. S. Emmet '19 was elected captain of the University eight. Together with Parkman and F. B. Whitman '19, he formed a trio which served as an excellent nucleus for the war-time crew. No training table was instituted, but as rigid a system of training as was practicable was instituted and an effort was made to put the crew work on a firm basis which should set a precedent for the continuation of rowing during the war.
The practice after the April recess was so arranged that it came but three times a week on alternate days with the work of the R. O. T. C., thus in no way interfering with the military training.
Haines' System Crushed Princeton.
On April 27 the University oarsmen met the Princeton eight on Lake Carnegie, both crews starting the race as unknown quantities, and their relative speed and power but a matter of conjecture. On the same day the University Freshmen clashed with the Tiger yearlings. In both contests the Haines system proved victorious. Though the University's time, 9 minutes and 57 seconds, for the Henley course was slow, the race was hard fought and afforded a really creditable exhibition of oarsmanship, 1921 secured an easy win in 10 minutes and 58 seconds.
A month later the latter crew wound up its season with a victory over the Yale 1921 eight on the Charles. The losers were inferior in both experience and power. This race was staged as the feature of the annual Invitation Regatta held by the University as part of the program; also the letter's second crew was matched against the Elis B aggregation. Yale, with an advantage of 15 pounds per man, came out the winner, but only by half a length.
In the University's race with Yale on Saturday, the season was brought to an end. Yale though boasting several veterans in her first boat did not display the power or endurance exhibited by the University, and was outdistanced in the two-mile grind by over two lengths.