Going into yesterday's Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges (EARC) Sprints regatta, the Harvard men's heavyweight and lightweight crews had high hopes for a strong finish in the conference's culminating race.
Unfortunately for both Crimson crews, the races ended a bit on disappointing side.
Based on previous results, the heavyweights came into the race as the third-fastest crew in the field behind Princeton and Penn.
But the Crimson finished the regatta in fifth with a time of 5:50.28, well behind Princeton's 5:42.1. Coming in ahead of Harvard were Brown at 5:46.99, Penn at 5:48.91 and Wisconsin at 5:49.26. Northeastern came in sixth at 5:54.88.
The lightweights did not fare much better.
Entering as the top contender to Princeton, the odds-on favorite, Harvard saw a surprising surge from Columbia, which displaced the Crimson for the second spot behind the blistering Tiger boat.
The bright spot on the day was the strong performance from Harvard's heavyweight freshman boats.
In both the first and second freshman boats, the heavyweights stroked their way to the victory.
"That's a big step," varsity captain Henry Nuzum said. "That 's a tribute to Bill Manning. He's a first-year coach this year and they are undefeated so far. They have a better work ethic than I've ever seen with any freshman. It bodes well for the future."
The first freshman boat came in with a time of 5:55.2, a three-quarter-length win over Brown, which finished in 5:57.88.
The second boat won its race with a time of 6:38.1, a two-second margin ahead of Northeastern.
The varsity heavyweights still felt the bitterness of defeat, however.
"The other crews were faster than us," Nuzum said. "It's a pretty simple sport. There were four crews out there who were better than us today."
Two of the surprising crews in the race were Brown and Wisconsin.
"[Brown] gave Princeton a race tighter than anyone has given them all season," Nuzum said. "They've improved since we saw them last."
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