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Parker Named Olympic Crew Coach


Harry Parker, head coach of the Harvard crew, has been named coach of the 1972 United States Olympic Rowing Team.

The crew going to Munich, Germany this summer will not represent just one rowing team as U.S. crews have in the past. This year, individual carsmen will be picked to go to a training camp where Parker will pick the best rowers to make up the squads.

He will select men for the eight-cared heavyweight boast, for the four-with-coxswain, and two alternates. The fourteen rowers will have about seven weeks to train together in preparation for the late summer Olympics.

In the past, open competition was held among organized crews to select the fastest boat and designate it as the U.S. rowing representative.

In 1968 under that old selection procedure, Harvard won the trials and went to the Mexico Olympics where it finished sixth.

In 9 seasons at Harvard, Parker has compiled a heavyweight crew record of 34 victories and four lessors. Harvard crews were undefeated from 1964 to 1968 and captured a record seven straight Eastern Spring championships from 1964 to 1970.

The competition for the national Rowing Team started with 400 carsmen and has now been reduced by regional selectors to 125. Only 40 carsmen will report to the U.S. training camp at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

The switch from competition by full boats to individual trials is the subject of much conjecture. Parker said yesterday. "I think we can put together stronger crews than any one college or club could field alone, even though we won't have as much time to practice as a unit."

Crew competition in the Summer Olympics will be held from August 27 to September 2. The boats will compete on an artificial course constructed especially for the Olympics. The U.S. eight will face fine boats from East Germany. New Zealand and the Soviet Union who led international competitions last year.

Parker feels that the U.S. crew will have to work very hard to improve on the sixth place 1968 finish because the competition throughout the world has improved.

When Parker coached the U.S. Olympic small boats squad in 1964, seven Harvard carsmen won spots in the competition. In 1967. Parker's entire Harvard eight represented the U.S. in the Pan-Am Games and won the first place gold medal. The crew also placed second in the European championships.

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