Harvard's heavyweight crew, still somewhat of an unknown force in the EARC this spring, will receive its first major test this afternoon when it hosts M. I. T. and a strong Princeton boat in the Compton Cup regatta at 5:30 p. m. on the Charles River.
Crimson coach Harry Parker, apparently unsatisfied with his squad's four-and-a-half length victory over Brown last weekend, made several significant changes in his varsity boating yesterday-an unusual move for a man who usually is reluctant to tamper with a boat once he has raced it in competition.
Senior Steve Brooks, a three-year varsity veteran, has moved from his seat at number six to replace stroke Erich Almasy, who has had little experience at the position. Brooks, who stroked boats at both Noble and Greenough and the Union Boat Club, held that seat for the freshmen three years ago.
Junior Bill Hobbs, who rowed at three last week, will take Brooks' place at six, and Almasy will occupy Hobbs' former seat.
Harvard Still Favored
But despite the late rearrangement, Harvard must still be favored to capture its eighth consecutive Compton Cup and fifth straight race over a two year period, setting itself up once again as the chief foil to Pennsylvania's long-delayed dream of a national dynasty.
For the past four years, the race with M. I. T. and Princeton has followed a set pattern, and there is reason to believe it will remain the same this afternoon.
Harvard has always won the Stein Cup, over Brown and Rutgers, by an impressive margin on the previous weekend, and is still somewhat unproven by this time. Princeton, after an auspicious early start during which it whips Rutgers and Navy, has lost badly to Penn the week before.
M. I. T., which has had trouble even with such minor foes as Columbia and Boston University, enters the race hopeful, but cynically realistic about its chances.
And Harvard, rowing beautifully, has always won, at least as long as the pattern has existed.
So far this spring, everything has proceeded according to tradition. The Engineers are winless in two races, having dropped their first to Columbia by a length, and a second to B. U. and Northeastern, losing by two lengths to the Terriers. They should not be a factor in today's race after the first 500 meters.
Princeton, after impressive triumphs over Rutgers-by four lengths-and Navy by a half, dropped the Childs Cup race to Penn last week on the Schuylkill by two lengths, losing almost four seconds on the final sprint.
The Tigers are a strong, fast boat, but they tend to peak early in the season and after a harrowing race with Penn, are usually not up, either physically or emotionally, for what Harvard is prepared to throw at them.