"Champagne!" coxswain Nina Streetet yelled to the fans on the banks of the Charles, and for Eliot House's intramural crews yesterday, the white bubbly stuff was definitely in order.
Eliot's men's "A" boat had just outrowed six other boats, capping a day in which the Elephants won three of four races--and placed a close second in the fourth to accumulate 335 of a possible 350 intramural points. The near-sweep in crew made Eliot the favorite to win its first Straus Cup in ten years, a competition which ends Friday but whose standings are yet uncompiled.
The Strauss Cup is awarded each year to the House which accumulates the most points in intramural competition.
In yesterday's cork popper, Eliot captured the Alexander Agassiz Cup, awarded annually to the men's "A" victor, for the fifth time in six years. The win avenged a four-second defeat to Dunster House in last year's race.
"The cabinet in our dining hall looked kind of empty without the crew cup in it this year, so we decided to really go for it," Eliot Coach Nigel Gallaher said afterwards.
After getting off to a poor start, Eliot recovered to pass front-runner South House at the 500-meter mark, sneaking past the competition by accelerating underneath the Harvard Bridge. Eliot increased its lead over the remainder of the 1500-meter course, crossing the line almost two boatlenghts ahead of second-place South House.
In the women's "A" race Kirkland House erased a three-year Eliot winning streak by keeping pace with its neighbor for most of the course and then pulling away in the last 100 meters to take the Dane-Felb Cup by four seconds.
For the day Kirkland garnered 293 Straus Cup points, enough to keep it competitive for the overall this year. Eliot won both the men's and women's "B" races by several boatlengths, with Kirkland second.
Intramural competition concludes this week with playoffs in softball and street hockey and tournaments for baseball and tennis.