Harvard Crew Ends Year to Remember
Harvard sophomore Andrew Campbell can now add oration to his many skills.
Back in his home state of Connecticut, the star lightweight rower delivered two speeches at the USRowing Annual Convention, which took place on Saturday, Dec. 3 in Hartford.
“Earlier in the day I had a meet and greet with junior rowers from the area and I ended up speaking for about an hour about my career and my advice towards junior rowers,” Campbell noted. “It was ironic because I’ve only really been out of rowing for like 15 months.”
Campbell’s panel, officially named “Junior Day: Meet and Greet 2011 USRowing Man of the Year Andrew Campbell,” was one of three which attendees had the option of attending. The other two speakers were Tom Terhaar, head coach of the U.S. Open Weight women’s national team, and Mike Teti, head coach of the University of California’s men’s rowing team. Terhaar’s speech was called “Training Plans and Ideas for Collegiate Programs,” while Teti’s talk was titled “Simple Approach to Having Fast Boats.”
After a break in the day, during which Campbell visited a convention on legos, he gave an acceptance speech for his Man of the Year Award, though his second address was much briefer.
The USRowing Man of the Year Award celebrated what has been an outstanding year on the water for Campbell. Just a year after he took bronze in the 2010 Junior World Championships in the lightweight single, Campbell took bronze in the U23 World Championships and fourth at the World Rowing Championships. His finishes in the Junior and U23 championships are the highest ever by a U.S. rower in the events.
At the Head of the Charles, Campbell took second in the Championship double event—which featured both lightweights and heavyweights—while rowing with fellow Crimson rower Austin Meyer, who is currently taking the year off from school to train with the national team. Most recently, Campbell won the lightweight single event at the USRowing Fall Speed Orders.
For Campbell, the highlight of the night was watching former coaches Yan and Olga Vengerovskiy receive the 2011 John J. Carlin Service Award.
“My high school coaches won an award for services to the sport,” Campbell noted. “It was cool to go up and thank them after they had been giving speeches. They are ... immigrants and coached in the Soviet Union and came over to the U.S. with almost nothing and built themselves up into a rowing program that is one of the highest regarded sculling programs in the country. I’m very proud of them: true American Dream.”
Also speaking at the Convention was Harry Parker, now in his 50th year as head coach of Harvard heavyweight crew. The coach was recently awarded USRowing’s Medal of Honor at the inaugural Golden Oars Dinner, held on Nov. 30 at the New York Athletic Club in New York, N.Y.
Parker gave a speech on making collegiate crews fast, a topic in which he is extremely well versed. With Parker at the helm, the Crimson has won eight official national championships and eight more unofficial national championships.
2011 proved to be a particularly impressive year for Parker and the Harvard heavyweights.
Every single Crimson heavyweight eight finished the dual season undefeated, and Harvard took Eastern Sprints titles in the varsity eight, second varsity eight, and freshman eight. After securing its fourth-straight sweep over Yale, the Crimson took silver in both the 1V and 2V events at the IRA National Championships, while the freshman eight and open four both took bronze. Harvard finished second overall as a team, behind the University of Washington.
But the Crimson exacted revenge on the Huskies this fall when its 1V defeated Washington in the Championship Eight event at the Head of the Charles. Harvard won the event by defeating the second-place USRowing by almost six seconds and the third-place Huskies by 8.5 seconds. In the team’s final race of the fall, the Tail of the Charles, Crimson crews took first, second, and sixth.
The lightweight program has been similarly successful.
Harvard’s lightweight 1V finished the dual season unbeaten and won Eastern Sprints before falling just shy of an IRA national championship. The 2V went undefeated throughout, capping the year off with a Sprints win and an IRA win in the lightweight four event.
Will Newell ’11, the captain of that lightweight squad and the six seat of its 1V, recently won the lightweight pair event at the USRowing Fall Speed Orders.
Earlier this year, Malcolm Howard ’05 took bronze in the eight at the world championships, and he and Dave Wakulich ’11 were recently invited to Canada’s Olympic Training Camp.
These are just some of the outstanding individual and team performances have made it an impressive year. While the Crimson’s bar is already set high, Campbell’s barrier-breaking finishes in the lightweight single and the silver-medal-winning performances by the heayvweight and lightweight squads have made this a year to remember even in a place as historic as Newell Boathouse.
—Staff writer Christina C. McClintock can be reached at email@example.com.