With material this is in all cases better than usual, the crews of the various colleges which the Crimson will oppose this year are developing rapidly. The Navy and Yale are already on open water and the other eights expect to be out very shortly.
A feature of the Yale rowing program this year is the unprecedented scale on which full crew work was carried out last October. By the middle of the month 30 eights were working out regularly on the Housatonic. Over 250 men were thus given an opportunity to prove their worth on the river, and the Fall Regatta which closed the season on November 10 provided as opportunity for Coach Corderry to compare the respective merits of the veteran oarsmen as well as uncovering a quantity of good material among the upper class and Freshman candidates.
Actual winter practice started for the Eli oarsmen on February 10 when the first three University boats and the 150-pound crew reported for the initial work-out on the machines. On February 18 a tentative seating was announced for the first two shells and the Freshman eight, but all three boats have been subjected to frequent changes because of the large number of reserve candidates.
Ten days ago the entire rowing squad was transferred from the Gymnasium to the George Adee boathouse for the earliest start on the harbor that the Eli crews have ever had. Coach Corderry expects to keep his charges on the New Haven harbor two or three weeks before shifting them to the boathouse at Derby, on the Housatonic, where they will practice until they go into permanent training camp a Gales Ferry in June.
Five veterans will be available for the 1922 season. Yale is fortunate in again having the services of Freeman, who stroked his crew to victory over the Crimson last year, since one of the chief problems of the coaches this year seems to lie in the acquisition to experienced and capable strokes. In addition to Freeman and Captain Gibson there remain from last year's eight, Haldeman, Russell, Carman, and Leslie. If they make the crew this year it will give the boat six oarsmen of two or more' years' experience.
The first crew, as recently picked by Coach Corderry, includes five veterans. The other positions have been filled by Ellis at 4 who rowed at 7 in the 1920 eight, Cheney, a member of last spring's Junior eight, and Rockefeller 6 on the winning Freshman combination. The seating of the first crew is as follows:
Stroke, Freeman; 7, Haldeman; 6; Rockefeller; 5, Gibson; 4, Ellis; 3, Russell; 2, Cheney; bow, Leslie.
At first glance Princeton and Yale appear in a remarkably even light, but later consideration would seem to award the verdict to Coach Spaeth's charges. Although Princeton has only three men of its championship crew back, seven men of the eight which was stroked by Cresswell and was ranked nearly as high as the championship crew have returned to college; technically in fact Cresswell's boat was ranked as Crew A. This year Coach Spaeth intends to use again this system of developing twin University eights which worked so successfully last year.
The only-draw-back to the Tiger prospects for another season of championship records, and it is a big draw-back, is the apparent lack of a capable successor to Leh. Morgan and Cresswell have not made a strong impression, and the position is now a toss-up between Pride, stroke of last year's Freshman, and Wright, stroke of the 1923 yearlings. These four men, together with Moser of the 1922 Freshman eight, are all being tried but the final decision is probably for some time.
All the Tiger crews will probably be out on the water by the middle of the month, and as soon as this occurs a more definite announcement as to the seating may be expected. The two University eights will race on alternate Saturdays in May, and if the stroke question can be settled there will be no lack of material for two first-class eights. The first tentative seating of Crew A follows:
Stroke Pirie; 7, Milne; 6, Sinclaire; 5, Newlin; 4. Morgan; 3, Lewis; 2, Jones; bow, Page.
Prospects at Cornell and Annapolis are uniformly good. The Ithacans expect to take to the water very soon, while with last year's University and championship Sophomore crews almost intact, the question of material is not a perplexing one to Coach Hoyle and his assistants.
The Navy oarsmen got the jump on the rest of the Eastern crews in the matter of practice on the water, work for the midshipmen starting on February 20. Every member of the crew by one rowed in the first shell last season.
Pennsylvania, in addition to a particularly difficult schedule, has had other serious draw-backs to her hopes for a successful season, Captain Mitchell being recently declared ineligible for further athletic competition. Keen competition has been displayed for the stroke position left vacant by his absence, but no definite decision as to the occupant of the seat has yet been arrived at.
Crew work is well under way at M. I. T. Over 100 candidates for Technology and Freshman eights reported last month and have been given regular work-outs on the machines as well as intensive training in the form of daily track and distance running. The M. I. T. shells will take to the water at approximately the same date as the Crimson crews, which will probably be the beginning of next week.