In the 46-year dual challenge history between the No. 4 Harvard heavyweight varsity crew and the No. 3 Brown varsity team, the Crimson holds a 37-9 advantage in the Stein Cup. Harvard consistently produces one of the fastest varsity squads in the nation. Meanwhile, Brown has been striving to do the same, pulling out wins over the Crimson at Eastern Sprints and IRAs last season.
And while the Bears clinched the Stein Cup Saturday for the first time since 2007, the Crimson held them to close margins—reminding them it won’t be over until Sprints.
The Harvard rowing team hit the road for the second consecutive weekend to race Brown on the Seekonk River in Providence Saturday. The Crimson varsity eight maintained overlap with the Bears throughout the entire race, but ultimately came up two or three seats short of victory.
Harvard and Brown were even off of the line, but in the first few hundred meters, the Crimson took a slight advantage. Into the second 500 meters of the race, Harvard extended its lead to roughly four seats.
But the Bears made their move going into the 1,000-meter mark. Brown continued to take seats in the third 500 of the race, holding as much as an eight-seat advantage at one point. The Crimson kept pace and then moved up almost six seats in the sprint to finish just one second behind, 5:42.5 to 5:41.5.
“This week, we were still experimenting with our strategy during races,” said captain and varsity boat seven seat Blake Pucsek. “So we just wanted to row our race and stay very internal. We picked up when we wanted to pick up, and maybe we could have gone a little sooner or something, but we could maybe work on [that] for next time.”
Like the first varsity eight, the rest of Harvard’s varsity squad was just off of Brown’s pace. The second varsity eight finished just over two seconds back from Brown in a time of 5:54.0.
The Crimson’s third varsity boat lost by a little more than three seconds in 5:59.7.
Harvard came away with wins in both the fourth varsity and second freshman combination race and the first freshman race. The Crimson rookies garnered the largest margin of victory of any race on the day with a 12.3-second win in a time of 5:53.9.
Small margins for the varsity and big wins in the freshmen events bode well for Harvard down the line this season.
LIGHTWEIGHTS VS. CORNELL, PENN, GEORGETOWN, ST. JOSEPH’S
The Harvard lightweight men’s team faced back-to-back days of competition this weekend and came away with nearly all boats winning every race.
The Crimson first traveled to Ithaca, N.Y., where it raced Cornell and Penn on Saturday morning. Then the squad bussed back to Cambridge and woke up early yesterday to face Georgetown and St. Joseph’s.
“We were pretty clear that the weekend wouldn’t be over until Sunday morning,” captain Martin Eiermann said. “We would have to focus on both races and prepare for both races.”
The varsity’s preparation paid off, as it swept its opponents in all races this weekend. Harvard’s first boat opened up a big lead against the Big Red and the Quakers at Cayuga Inlet on Saturday. The course involved two slight turns that have given some crews difficulty in the past, but the Crimson stuck to its plan to get out early and keep building a lead.