THE SPORTING SCENE
Six days a week 24 oarsmen trudge to Newell Boathouse. These are the men from whom the varsity heavyweight eight will be chosen and on whom the Crimson is depending to regain the rowing championship it lost last year.
For three weeks the crews have been on the water every day but Sunday, and the oarsmen can look for the training to become even more intensive as coach Harvey Love searches for a line-up and as April 22 and the opening race near. The crews, which began practice in the fall and continued indoors during the winter, will remain in Cambridge over spring vacation, rowing twice a day.
With only four returning lettermen, competition among the oarsmen is unusually strong this year. Love notes he is depending on the returnees, led by captain Perry Boyden, to provide a strong nucleus for the shell. The other lettermen are seniors Luke Breckinridge and Ken Gregg and junior John Higginson. So far, Love said yesterday, he has not attempted to put together a varsity shell, but will begin testing combinations soon. If he is lucky he hopes to have a definite line-up by the end of vacation.
Last year proved, if anything, that you can't predict end-of-the-season races on pre-season form. Nevertheless, it is clear that the Crimson is going to be in for tough competition this spring from Cornell and Navy. Both schools were able to field two boats at the Olympic trials and will have a large pool of experienced oarsmen to draw upon.
One change in this year's schedule will find the Crimson meeting Cornell outside of the EARC regatta for the first time since 1952. The varsity will tangle with the Big Red along with Rutgers at Ithaca the second weekend of the season.
Whatever the Crimson does this season, it will not have to worry about living up to any reputation left over from the year before, a burden which it noticeably suffered under last year. The squad is wasting no time mulling over its disappointing showing in the EARC sprints and the Olympic trials, according to Love, but is concentrating on the coming year.
And so the men in the shells can be seen every afternoon, going back and forth over the river, stroke after stroke.