M. Lightweights Take Fifth in EARCs
The finish was an improvement on its seventh seed and continued its streak of never missing a Grand Final.
Yale successfully defended its Eastern title, winning both the varsity and freshman events.
In the varsity event, Harvard fell behind at the start and never recovered, while Yale took off and no one ever caught up.
“We were left at the starting line,” said co-captain Pat Todd. “From there on out, we kind of trailed the pack the whole way.”
Yale finished in 5:52.09 while Princeton pulled a 5:55.7. Cornell took third with 5:56.54, just edging out Navy’s 5:56.63. The Crimson’s 6:01.59 was good enough for fifth—Harvard’s lowest finish at Eastern sprints since the crew fell to sixth in 1955.
Though the Crimson fell behind in the final, it had an admirable performance in its morning heat. Princeton won the heat in 6:00.44 while Navy followed in 6:01.79. Harvard earned the last spot in the Grand Final from the heat, barely trailing Navy in 6:01.85 and beating out Georgetown. The Crimson lost to the Hoyas on April 28.
“I think our heat was better than our final,” Todd said. “In the morning, [our boat] was really aggressive. In the afternoon, it was solid, but it wasn’t much of an attack.”
Harvard has been fiddling with its lineup in the weeks since the Georgetown race. The Crimson hoped that a shake-up would infuse the boats with speed and excitement. But the cost of new lineups is rowers that are still getting used to rowing together.
“This is the first race in our new lineup,” Todd said. “We need to work on our race skills a little more and put together more of a complete race.”
The weekend also marked the return of co-captain Pat Todd to the lineup, as Todd—who competed in the FISA World Rowing Championships last summer—has been sidelined with a back injury, one of many injuries Harvard has battled this season.
“My back was a little sore in the morning, but I think that was just because it was the morning,” Todd said.
The Crimson’s second varsity boat also placed fifth, as Navy took first with 5:55.34, followed by Yale at 5:58.43. Princeton’s 6:00.76 was good enough for third, while Cornell just trailed the Tigers in 6:01.11 Harvard posted a time of 6:03.93.
In the freshman lightweight event, the Crimson finished fifth in 6:12.35 while Yale earned another title with a time of 6:09.32.
Harvard’s best finish came in the second freshman lightweight event, where the Crimson finished third, in 6:48.05. Navy won in 6:41.90 while Cornell took second in 6:43.08.
This isn’t the last time Harvard will see these competitors—IRAs, the regatta to determine the national champion begin on May 31th. Last year, Harvard beat Yale out after losing to the Elis in both dual competition and at Eastern sprints.
“We were glad to improve on where we were ranked and it gives us a good building point for the next weeks,” Todd said.