M. Heavyweight Crew Sweeps Brown
Thanks to a fast start, the Bears took a lead of two seats off of the start, but the Crimson pulled up in the next 20 strokes, dealing with choppy water in the first quarter of the race.
“Brown’s a very strong-starting crew, but we tend to focus less on the very beginning of the race and more on just wearing down the crew,” senior coxswain Jim Omartian said.
Harvard improved on its advantage during the remainder of the race, finishing with about a length between the boats and a 4.5-second victory.
The Crimson’s fruitfulness extended into the 2V race, where Harvard’s boat was able to take the lead from the start and dominate down the course for a three-length win over the Bears.
“Their boat beat us last year so we really wanted to win,” said sophomore coxswain Jesse Oberst, referring to his experience in the first freshman boat last year. “In the first 100 meters, our goal was to take it back a bit.”
The regatta is a testament to the Crimson’s depth, with the wins in the 3V and first freshman events, by margins of 5.0 and 4.9 seconds, respectively. Harvard also raced a second freshman four and a fourth varsity four against a mixed Brown four as the Bears didn’t have a second freshman eight. Brown’s four finished behind both Crimson fours.
“We have a huge sophomore class and a pretty big senior class,” Mallinson said. “Everyone doing so well and winning by such large margins—it bodes well for this season and for the next seasons.”
“It’s really exciting to be in a program as fast as we are this year,” Oberst said. “It’s great to be in a boathouse that’s as deep and as talented as we are.”
Next weekend, Harvard faces No. 5 Princeton and MIT in a battle for the Compton Cup. Last year, the Tigers beat out the Crimson by 2.3 seconds.
“There’s definitely pressure in the race against Princeton,” senior Hugo Mallinson said. “Traditionally, even when they’re not ranked highly, they always come out really well.”
“Princeton is always a good competitor, but Princeton hasn’t won on the Charles since our coach has been coaching,” Omartian said.
Harvard Coach Harry Parker has been coaching since 1963.
Though the weather was beautiful on the Ithaca Inlet, the results of the Matthews Cup proved disappointing for the No. 5 Harvard lightweight crew that failed ton win any of its races on Saturday.
The Crimson opened its spring season at No. 8 Cornell with a loss to the Big Red and a victory over No. 7 Penn.
In the first varsity event, the Crimson got off to a clean start, but the Big Red capitalized on a slight tailwind, building on its advantage in the second 500 meters and then again in the last 500 meters.
Cornell finished just under two lengths ahead of Harvard, while the Quakers pulled in 3.7 seconds after the Crimson.
“[Cornell is] a very good boat,”co-captain and coxswain Joe Finelli said. “They beat us totally fairly and they moved throughout the race. They deserve great credit for being more prepared than we were for an intense race.”
Cornell continued to dominate in the second varsity event, beating Harvard by 10.8 seconds while Princeton trailed the Bid Red by 21.7. Both of Cornell’s boats finished ahead of Penn in the third varsity competition, while the Crimson did not race.
On the freshman side, Harvard’s first freshman boat finished last in a tight race, with Penn taking its only top finish as Cornell and Harvard lagged behind by only seconds. The Crimson took second in the second freshman event, while Cornell earned its fifth first-place and Penn trailed Harvard by almost 20 seconds.
The Crimson raced without co-captain Pat Todd this weekend because of a back injury. While Harvard is the defending national champion, it is aware that resting on its laurels is not an option, especially after seeing the competition this weekend.
“The biggest thing that we take from this weekend is that we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard,” Finelli said. “We’ll have to work harder in practice, be more competitive. We can’t settle for what we have.”
The lightweights open the home season on the Charles River next weekend in the Biglin Bowl against Dartmouth and MIT.
“I expect very intense racing because Dartmouth had a great spring last year and they’ve had a few early season races,” Finelli said. “MIT is probably faster than they’ve ever been, since I’ve been in college anyway, and they’re also a deeper squad.”
Harvard Heavyweight Crew
at Seekonk River
1st Varsity: Harvard 5:57.1; Brown 6:01.6
2nd Varsity: Harvard 6:05.5; Brown 6:17.6
3rd Varsity: Harvard 6:25.1; Brown 6:30.1
1st Freshman: Harvard 6:20.9; Brown 6:25.8
2nd Freshman: Harvard 2F 4 ‘A’ 7:06.8; Harvard 2F 4 ‘B’ 7:11.9; Brown 2F 4 ‘A’ 7:13.8
Harvard Lightweight Crew
at Ithaca Inlet
1st Varsity: Cornell 5:51.8; Harvard 5:57.0; Penn 6:00.7
2nd Varsity: Cornell 6:01.9; Harvard 6:12.7; Penn 6:23.6
3rd Varsity: Cornell A 6:39.8; Cornell B 7:09.4; Penn 7:14.1
1st Freshman: Penn 6:00.1; Cornell 6:02.6; Harvard 6:03.9
2nd Freshman: Cornell 6:15.6; Harvard 6:19.4; Penn 6:39.2