Harvard Crew Teams Encouraged by Performance at Season Opener

MEN’S LIGHTWEIGHT CREW

Making its season debut Saturday at the Head of the Housatonic regatta, the Harvard men’s lightweight crew emerged with some auspicious results.

Most impressive was the open men’s pair, in which Crimson boats finished in each of the top four spots, led by the pair of sophomore Nick Barry and freshman Drake Deuel with a time of 15:31.2. Shortly after them were sophomores Chris Skokowski and Hunter Wallace at 15:38.6, followed by freshman Thomas Satterthwaite and junior David Wexner at 15:42.9 and junior Rob Lowe and senior André Dupuis at 15:52.4.

“The fall races are not quite as intense as the spring, partly because of the format,” said Barry, referring to the fact that a “head” race is in the style of a time trial rather than a toe-to-toe competition.

The course itself was slightly more than 4.5 kilometers long on the Housatonic River in Derby, Conn., one of the home sites of the Yale crew team. Temperatures around 70 degrees and light winds made for an unseasonably pleasant environment.

In the open men’s single, freshman Sean Hayes took second place with a time of 16:36.9. Senior Jordan Rogers finished 14th with 17:29.7.

The team was less successful in the varsity eight, but the boat led by Dupuis in the stroke seat managed a top-ten finish in a 27-boat field (12:55.4). The four other Harvard entries finished 11th, 13th, 22nd and 25th.

Moreover, in the last event—the varsity four with coxswain—the boat with sophomore Michael Genovesi in the stroke took first place in a four-boat field with a time of 14:22.3. Next came the boat under junior Eryk Dobrushkin in second place with 14:26.8. The Crimson’s third boat in the race, led by sophomore Tomas Spiers, finished a distant fourth at 14:53.7.

WOMEN’S LIGHTWEIGHT AND HEAVYWEIGHT CREW

The women’s lightweight and heavyweight crew teams likewise made their first appearance of the season, competing in the same four events. The heavyweight team came away with a commanding victory in the pair. Junior Rafaela Stalph and senior Sofia Donnecke finished with a time of 16:19.2, more than 30 seconds ahead of second place. Junior Hailey Novis and senior Erica Holmes took fourth with 16:55.2, while the lightweight pair of seniors Alanah Anderson and Adah Bielawski, competing in the same field, finished sixth with 17:00.7.

The Crimson women also snagged three of the top four spots in the varsity four with coxswain, including a win at 15:29.2 by the boat led by heavyweight junior Stephanie Eble. Lightweight Claire Albert led her boat to a second-place finish in 16:00.2.

Fourth place in the field of 16 went to the boat with junior Josie Theile in the stroke, which came in at 16:02.7. The other four Crimson boats finished sixth, ninth, 13th and 15th.

Heavyweight freshman Eliza Kallfelz was the high finish in the single. She finished in 18:35.7, good for sixth. Thiele’s boat managed fourth place in the varsity eight with 13:09.3, followed by the boat under heavyweight sophomore Charlotte Medway in seventh out of 23 at 14:18.3. The other Crimson boats in the heat finished 12th, 16th, 19th and 23rd.

The Head of the Housatonic is an annual regatta held by the New Haven Rowing Club. High school, college and club teams from around the Northeast compete in various races.

The competition marked Harvard’s first races since the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships in June. The real meat of the season, however, will come in the spring, leaving the team about four months from December to March to train over the winter.

More immediately, though, the Housatonic served as a tune-up for next weekend’s Head of the Charles, one of the three so-called fall classics and always the centerpiece of the first half of the rowing season.

“The Head of the Charles is definitely the major event of the fall,” Genovesi said. “We used this as a practice on the road to get ready.”

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