Although the premier varsity crew race is yet to come, the Harvard and Radcliffe crews have already had enough of a successful year to begin building for next season.
The Harvard men's heavyweight crew will row on Saturday in the 135th annual Harvard-Yale Regatta in New London, Conn. Race begins at 4:30 p.m.
The women's heavyweight team has already wrapped up its season, earning a trip to the NCAA finals, where it placed 10th among the nation's best crews.
Both the men's and women's lightweight crews finished their seasons up last weekend with the Intercollegiate Racing Association Rowing Championships [this weekend, Dave], after this article had gone to press.
Before Sprints, the team won three meets in a row, posting victories over Princeton, MIT, Navy, Penn and Northeastern. The first varsity boat blazed to a new Charles River record for men's heavyweights at a time of 5:37.3 in its dual against Northeastern.
On April 15, the Crimson fell to Brown, the top team in the East, by just two seconds. In its first race of the spring season, Harvard took third out of 12 in a tough field at the San Diego Crew Classic.
The defending national champion lightweight boat had success similar to its heavyweight counterpart over the course of the season, rowing to big wins and close losses.
At the EARC Sprints, the men's lightweight boat finished third with a time of 5:55.63, more than three seconds behind first-place Columbia and second-place Yale.
Harvard's lights breezed to a win over Rutgers and Georgetown on May 7, clocking in at 5:53.5, nearly three seconds ahead of Rutgers and 14 seconds ahead of Georgetown. The week before that, Harvard placed second in the Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet, with the home Bulldogs taking the win.
With a 6:05.0, the Crimson won the Biglin Bowl from Dartmouth and MIT on April 16. The previous week, the Crimson took the Matthews Cup from Cornell and Penn with a 5:50.0.
At the beginning of the spring season, Harvard placed second in the San Diego Crew Classic with a 6:08.9.
After earning a berth in the NCAA women's rowing championships, the Black-and-White finished in 10th as a team, and 12th in the varsity eight race, despite being ranked fourth in the country entering the race.
"We came into the Championships with high hopes and we're disappointed we didn't attain them," said Coach Liz O'Leary.
Before the NCAA regatta, Radcliffe finished second out of six at the Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges (EAWRC) Sprints. Before that, the Black-and-White had been on a four-meet win streak, earning victories over Dartmouth, Syracuse, Yale, Northeastern and Boston University.
Those meets came on the heels of a dual meet loss to Brown, in which Radcliffe came in at 8:10, five seconds behind the defending and eventual national champion Bears, and a tri-meet loss to Princeton that was salvaged by a win over Cornell.
The women's lightweights had difficulties getting going for much of the season, and not all of it was the boat's fault. Two meets were cancelled because of weather.
When Mother Nature cooperated, the Black-and-White finished third out of four in the EAWRC Sprints with a time of 7:41.3.
In dual meets during the middle part of the season, the team never won a meet, but it did outstroke a few others. Losing to Wesleyan, Brown and Princeton, Radcliffe did beat Tufts and MIT.
To start the spring, the Black-and-White finished third out of five at the San Diego Crew Classic.