When June arrives, Harvard's classes come to an abrupt halt while students scatter to the four winds. Although the academic action ceases, at least for a little bit, Harvard athletes continue to challenge competitors in the United States and beyond.
Harvard heavyweight crew tasted victory against Yale for the 11th consecutive year, once again showing its power over the Elis. The race, deemed "perfect" by fabled coach Harry Parker (now 29-4 against Yale), was not decided until the final stroke.
In the June 10 contest on the Thames River in New London, Conn. the Crimson broke the upstream record for the third year in a row, Harvard (18:41.9) finished a full boat-length in front of the Eli (18:45.5), splintering the previous mark by more than 10 seconds.
Unlike previous years, where Harvard has carved out an early lead in the first 20 strokes and then never looked back, Yale refused to sink. Even though Harvard established its familiar quick advantage, the Elis stuck to the Crimson for nearly three miles before Harvard gained open water with a decisive move.
Refusing to die, Yale pushed hard to get back to an even keel with Harvard, but the Crimson held on and crossed the finish line first by a slim margin.
The junior varsity followed suit, easily defeating a weak Yale squad by a five-length lead. The freshman crew failed to complete the sweep, however, falling by more than 12 seconds to the Yale rookie crew.
After the day's races, the varsity heavyweights elected four-man Alexander Blake of Big Timber, Mont, captain for the 1995-96 season.
There is something about odd numbered years in the 90's for the Harvard and Radcliffe lightweight crews.
The Crimson and the Black and White lights captured their third National Championships of the decade; both crews' previous titles came in 1991 and 1993.
Harvard finished the 2,000-meter course in 5:48.7, while pre-race favorite Princeton came in less than two seconds later at 5:50.4. Cornell, Navy and Holy Cross took the next three places, respectively.
First place changed hands four times in the race, but the Crimson captured the lead for good around the 1200-meter mark.
The lightweights' Eastern Sprints title earned the crew an automatic berth at the Henley Royal Regatta in England. Although Harvard was unable to break the 24-year death grip that heavyweight crews have on the event, the Crimson did place in the top eight crews, out of a field of 48. Nottinghamshire County Rowing Association (6:15) eliminated Harvard (6:14) in the quarterfinals.
Radcliffe's 6:57.93 time smoked Villanova's 7:07.57 at the women's nationals on June 10 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Black and the White got sweet revenge over the Wildcats, who outstroked Radcliffe by more than 3.5 seconds in the San Diego Crew Classic.
Pennsylvania placed third, and George Washington, Virginia, San Diego and Cal Santa-Barbara followed in the seven-school field.
Henley Track Meet
The Harvard and Yale track teams put aside their differences for the Harvard-Yale Oxford-Cambridge Centenary Meet June 28 at the University of Oxford. The meet celebrated its 100th anniversary, making it the world's oldest international inter-collegiate competition.
Harvard-Yale narrowly defeated their counterparts across the pond, winning 19 events to the Brits' 18. The top finishers from the Harvard-Yale meet (won by Harvard) comprised the combined squad.
Brian Henry '95, junior Ian Carswell and senior Darin Shearer finished first in the 800 meters, 5,000 meters and 3,000-meter Steeplechase, respectively, for Harvard-Yale on the men's side. Senior Amanda Williams took first in the 400 meters for the women. Harvard-Yale won all four relays--the 4x100 and the 4x400 relays for both men and women.
Martins Inks Deal
Steve Martins '95 will be moving again in September--although for the first time in four years his destination won't be Cambridge. Instead, Martins will be reporting to a national Hockey League training camp.
The standout Harvard center, who graduated this past June, signed a multi-year contract with the Hartford Whalers, which used the fifth selection in the NHL's 1994 Supplemental Draft to acquire him. Martins will either play with Hartford or their AHL affiliate, Springfield.
Martins played ice hockey at Harvard for four seasons, leading the Crimson in points and assists during his junior year, and in goals during his senior season. For the 1993-94 regular season, Martins was named Division I All-American, ECAC Player of the Year and Ivy League Player of the Year.
The deal was announced on July 11, 1994. Terms were not disclosed.
Harvard senior Kirk Nielsen and sophomore Emily Stauffer played at the Olympic Festival in ice hockey and soccer, respectively.
Nielsen played on the East team, which placed fourth in a field of four. He scored a power-play goal at 8:44 to pull the East within one goal in the semifinals of the tournament.
Stauffer played on the East team, which fell in the gold medal game to the North, 3-2. Stauffer notched an assist in the first match of the preliminary round and just missed an attempt 15 seconds into another preliminary round contest.
"The competition was excellent, with the national team players and World Cup players," Stauffer said. "It was a lot of soccer and was good to get my touch on the ball."
Mleczko in Finland
Junior forward A.J. Mleczko spent August 30 to September 3 in Finland with the U.S. National Women's Team. The U.S. swept a four-game exhibition series against the Finnish squad, including 8-0 and 15-1 romps.
Irving to Minors
Finally, Jamie Irving '95, the ambidextrous Harvard baseball pitcher, signed as a free agent with a minor league team in Johnstown, Penn. The team is not affiliated with a major league club.