Crimson Crews Favored for Eastern Title
The big test of the year comes for the high-riding varsity, jayvee, and freshman crows this afternoon, when 11 top rowing colleges meet on Lake Onondaga at Syracuse to battle for the sprint championship of the cast.
All three Harvard boats are seeded first on the basis of their undefeated records to date, but their superiority is by no means a foregone conclusion. Anything can happen in a 2,000 meter race, especially one with several new and untested opponents.
The races are split into two preliminary morning heats, with the first three boats in each race qualifying for the finals this afternoon. The Crimson's entries should have little trouble getting past this first test, as the regatta committee carefully separates the leading contenders until the finals.
But One New Opponent in Prelims
The varsity, for instance, will face fourth seeded Penn, Boston University, Rutgers, Syracuse, and Navy in the preliminary. It has already demolished all but one of these crews in previous outings, and Syracuse, the lone untested rival was defeated by an unimpressive BU entry in a race here last week.
The other trial heat features second-seeded Yale, third-seeded Princeton, MIT, Columbia, and Cornell.
The outcome of these trials will probably find Yale, Princeton, Penn, Navy, and MIT, pitted against the Crimson. Perennially powerful, Cornell will probably not show up too well this year, as a result of the almost wholesale graduation of last year's powerful beat.
Yale Dark Horse
In the varsity final, Yale will be the crew to watch. Although they have been beaten by Penn in the Blackwell Cup in April, they turned in an excellent performance at Derby Day by beating Wisconsin and setting a new course record.
The Elis are also a notoriously strong short-distance crew, and despite the fact they have abandoned their pinwheel stroke they still row a high and effective beat in the sprint.
This can really cause the Crimson trouble if conditions are rough enough to force the race onto a special three-quarter mile "foul-weather course," which the regatta committee had laid out for the occasion. Harvard has had little or no experience at short distances, and Bill Curwen's normally low stroke is not suited to this kind of race.
But if the varsity are precarious favorites, the jayvees are even more so. Although they also are unbeaten to date, their wins have been by hairbreadth margins, and Navy, Penn, or Princeton may well turn the tables on them today. Yale's second boat is also reputedly hot; two weeks ago it beat its Navy counter part by more than two lengths, while Harvard was only able to squeeze out a deck-length win over the same Middle combination.
The freshman boat is probably in the most secure position of the three Harvard boats. It is remarkably fast for a first year crew. In fact, after last week's race the New York Times' Allison Danzig asked Tom Bolles if any special river conditions had accounted for the freshmen's 8:54 time. Bolles answered, "No, it's just a fast crew."
'52 Beat Varsity
To further exhibit their prowess, Harvey Love's "novice" rowers beat the varsity in a practice race Wednesday, an extraordinary feat considering the excellence of the senior boat.
Six of the shells they race today, BU, Navy, MIT, Columbia, Penn, and Princeton, have already been beaten by the freshmen. of the sextet, MIT's boat is the only one that has ever come close. It has trailed the freshmen by seveneighths, a half, and one and a half lengths consecutively in three races.
Syracuse, on the basis of previous performances, notably its defeat by BU, should prove harmless. The same goes for Rutgers, whose crews this year are uniformly impotent. Yale and Cornell, however, can be trouble.
Yesterday, the freshmen worked out morning and afternoon to get used to the Lake Onondaga course. Today they row a qualifying heat at 10 a.m. and if successful they go again in the finals at 5 p.m.
Win or lose, they will attend a party tonight thrown for them by the Manlius School, a local prep school.