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The University crew goes to New London next Wednesday, June 8, where it will remain in the old quarters at Red Top until after the intercollegiate races on June 22.
The work of the crew this spring has been interesting and important as making a new and thorough system in Harvard boating. Whatever the result of the race at New London in June may be, the system has been proved a good one. It has resulted in a vast increase in the intelligent interest in rowing, and in getting many good eight-oared crews on the river. No one can doubt that a thoroughly solid graded system of selection has been established by which all the available material may be well trained, tested in frequent contests, and finally selected for the most important positions on a basis of proven worth as well as of marked promise for the future. Through the graded steps of the various Weld crews and the regular class crews men have worked their way up to the 'Varsity boat, while in the rivalry of competition and the zest provided by frequent races a great amount of green material has been worked into a set of fairly good watermen.
The trouble, if any this year, has not been with the system but with the material offered. While plenty of fairly good men have been develped, and material abounds for short distance crews, there is undeniably a lack of first-class 'Varsity oars; men of enough brawn and stamina and skill to stand four mile racing.
The men who at present compose the University crew have been rowing together nearly three weeks. Their selection was made after a series of races between the first and second 'Varsity crews, and at the close of a month's training from the time of the first selection of 'Varsity candidates after the class races. The order and weights of the men are as follows: Stroke, Dobyns, 150; 7, Biddle, 162; 6, Perkins, 172; 5, Heath, 173; 4, Higginson, 164; 3, Wadsworth, 163; 2, Blake, 160; bow, Harding, 162.
The second crew disbanded May 20 and the following four men were retained as substitutes: Perkins '99, Marvin '99, Adams '98, and Kernan 1900.
The recent work of the crew proves that it has speed. Most of the men exhibit plenty of life and seem to have endurance enough for the long distance. The different styles through the boat and the awkward rowing of two or three men make the crew appear less favorably than it did last year before going to Poughkeepsie, but the blade work is good and well together. The chief faults of the crew are at present unsteadiness and a hurried recover. The leg drive, although it has improved lately, is not yet as powerful as it ought to be.
To speak of the men briefly, Dobyns, at stroke, uses excellent judgment and drives his crew well. He is, however, a hard man to follow and Biddle is not yet quite with him. Biddle gets a hard catch but has been inclined to weaken on the finish. Captain Perkins, in spite of his late illness, is at present rowing the best oar in the boat. His blade is notably good and he gets a long body swing and steady drive from the stretcher. Heath, at 5, has gone off of late. He is a good worker and a strong oar, but does not catch the boat with the rest and rushes his slide badly. C. S. Derby 2M., who rowed bow on the '96 'Varsity crew, was tried at 5 yesterday and may ultimately fill that position. Higginson has been doing better work since his change from stroke to 4. His rowing is long and at the same time snappy. The three bow-men, Wadsworth, Blake and Harding, have all shown improvement in the last week. Wadsworth, although awkward, is a strong and effective oar. Blake is smooth, but has a tendency to rush his slide. Harding is doing well at bow. Although a short man, he pulls his stroke out with the rest and is quick enough for his position.
The four substitutes are at present rowing in one of the coxswain pairoared shells built last fall, in which they will probably continue work at New London. The order is: Stroke, Perkins; 3, Marvin; 2, Kernan; bow, Adams.
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