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Always a sort of grant killer as far as Crimson oarsmen are concerned, the Cornell crew moves into Cambridge today to prepare for tomorrow's race, the first home regatta since Harvard knocked off M.I.T. and B.U. in the season's opener.
Since Tom Bolles came to Cambridge in 1937 his crews have lost only 10 races. The Big Red was responsible five times. On four of these occasions, the Cornell victories cost the Crimson undefeated seasons.
If past history means anything, however, the Crimson will be at an advantage because it is rowing on its home course. For some reason or either, the Ithacaus' Lake Cayuse has been an unlucky course for Harvard oarsmen. Several season's ago, in fact, a Crimson shell sank while springing to a finish against the Big Red. Last year, on the other hand, Harvard succeeded in beating Cornell on its own water.
Early during this year's season, Cornell looked like it would have trouble beating Rutgers, the turtle of Eastern rowing. Two weeks ago, the Ithacans placed a shabby ninth in the E.A.R.C. regatta which M.I.T. snatched from Harvard by a tenth of a second. But last week, the Cornell eight decisively outreached Princeton and Yale on the Housatonic to win the Carnage Cup.
"Stork" Sanford, the Cornell coach had made two changes in his varsity boating for this race and apparently the switches paid off. He put Bill Denton, a sophomore, at stroke, and Dick Ehni at seven oar.
Cornell's sudden success last Saturday follows a customary pattern. The Big Red oarsmen get a late start each year because Lake Cayuga doesn't usually become navigable until well into April. Hence the Ithacans look bad in their first races. By the time they row against Harvard, a contest for which they are always "up," they are usually in top form. This year, especially, they seem to be improving fast.
The Crimson on the other hand has been idle since its loss to Tech two weeks ago at Annapolis, and will have to rebuild the competitive spirit which naturally lapsed somewhat, when the Cornell race seemed relatively far away.
Bolles will row his customary starting eight in the varsity shell but in the J.V. boat, Eric Osborne will replace Caner at four oar. Osborne started the season in that spot but wrenched his back in practice before the Compton Cup race April 29.
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