The Cornell heavies and the Princeton lightweights will be the favored varsity boats tomorrow when 62 college crews will compete in the annual EARC sprints on Lake Carnegie and the Potomac River.
The Crimson heavyweights, if they reach the finals, must assume the role of a dark horse behind the top three seeded crews of Cornell, Yale, and Princeton. The Harvard lightweights, however, will be Princeton's strongest challengers and are out to avenge a two-foot loss to the Tiger crew last Saturday in the Goldthwait Cup.
In the JV races, the Crimson heavies are seeded third on the basis of their second place finish over previously undefeated Penn last week. Navy, who won this race, is seeded second with the Big Red junior varsity in the number one ranking. The JV's, who have improved steadily throughout the season, have a good chance of beating Navy, but obtaining a victory over Cornell would be quite a task.
Lightweight coach Joe Brown's JV's are so erratic that it is very difficult to predict where they will finish. If they are "right," they could achieve the best time of any lightweight boat on the river; if they are off, they could finish almost anywhere.
While on paper the varsity heavies must be ranked behind Princeton, the prevailing opinion at Newell on the eve of the race is that the Crimson will avenge its earlier defeat at the hands of the Tigers. The varsity most certainly has improved since its race with the Tigers; the cogent fact will be, how much has Princeton improved?
Yale and Cornell will furnish a good deal more formidable opposition in this race and a varsity decision over one of these crews (Yale being the best possibility) would be more than a major triumph. These are two very fine crews, but both of their coaches have expressed the opinion that Princeton and Harvard will be aided by the shorter distance of the race (2000 meters).
The heavyweight sprints will be run off by a series of four three-boat semifinals, the winners of which will meet in the finals. The Crimson crews fared reasonably well in the drawing last Tuesday as the varsity will face Navy and M.I.T., while the JV's are scheduled to meet Syracuse and Dartmouth in the opening rounds.
There is no apparent reason why the varsity should lose to the Middies, but if it allows itself to slip, the first boat will not even gets its chance for fame and fortune in the finals. The JV's have already been beaten by Syracuse but both Love and the seeding board rank them as favorites in this race.
A trip to England is the prize for the winner of the lightweight race, since the winner of the Sprints is almost always chosen to represent the United States in the Henley regatta. Princeton is rated the favorite in this race, but it has attained this position only by its fractional win over the Crimson. The two boats are very even and should provide one of the most exciting races of the day.
The freshman crews will also participate in the sprints, with both of the varsity Yardling eights expected to figure prominently in the final results. The Crimson heavies lost their first race of the season to Navy last Saturday and are now rated below Yale, Cornell, and the Middies. Coach Bill Leavitt's eight should be able to regain its early season form, however, and give Yale's strong crew a fight in this race.