Harvard men’s heavyweight and lightweight crew challenged Ivy League opponents this weekend in both crews’ second races of the dual season. The heavyweights traveled to Brown and retained the Stein Cup thanks to first-place finishes in four out of six races on the Seekonk River. The No. 1 lightweights also had a strong performance, winning three out of five races against Cornell and Penn on the Big Red’s home course.
HARVARD VS. BROWN
Three-fifths of a second was the narrow margin between victory and defeat in the first varsity eight’s race against the Bears on Saturday. Battling the difficult conditions, Harvard took the lead fairly early and was out in front of the Brown crew by nearly a boat length. But the Bears hung on and almost mounted a comeback, which made for a tight finish. The Crimson was ultimately able to complete the race in 5:25.4, edging out Brown by a boat deck to secure its second straight Stein Cup and extend its dual season winning streak to 15 races.
“It was definitely a tough one,” said captain Mike DiSanto, seven seat of the first varsity eight. “Brown is certainly one of our biggest opponents in the east and our dual race during my four years has evolved to be one of our most competitive races, so we were expecting that.”
The 2V race was not as close, as Harvard finished a length ahead of the Bears.
The two freshman crews also came out strong against Brown. The first freshman eight won in 5:32.1, while the second freshman eight finished in 6:23.5, two boat lengths ahead of the Bears.
A piece of debris that collided with and damaged the Harvard boat cemented the win for Brown in the third varsity race. The Bears were leading by only a length before the collision but then were able to record a 24.2-second victory over the Crimson crew. The fourth varsity race was more competitive: The Bears held off Harvard by less than a second.
HARVARD VS. CORNELL, PENN
The Harvard lightweight crew traveled to Cayuga Lake Inlet in Ithaca, N.Y., this weekend to race Cornell and Penn in its first Ivy League race of the dual season. Coming off of a five-race sweep of Delaware on March 24, the Crimson had another strong showing.
Under calm conditions, the Harvard first varsity eight, first freshman eight, and second freshman eight all topped their Big Red and Quaker counterparts.
The second and third varsity boats fell to Cornell but held on to beat Penn.
In its race, the Harvard first varsity boat drew the outside lane, allowing the Crimson to start a seat up because of the turn in the race course.
Harvard took advantage, grabbing the lead coming out of the first 500 meters and finishing the race in 6:02.8.
“We had a really good start, probably the fastest we have had in training or racing so far this season,” said junior Stuart Taylor, four seat of the first varsity eight. “It is really nice to come out for the Ivy opener and put in a solid race from start to finish.”
In the second varsity race, Cornell finished ahead of Harvard by 15.4 seconds, but the Crimson achieved an open-water victory over Penn.