Every year, the most important day in Eastern spring crew is the second Sunday in May, the day of the Eastern Sprints.
This year, the second most important day for Harvard spring crew is today, when both the heavyweights and lightweights will have the opportunity to establish themselves as the Eastern teams to beat.
The Crimson heavies take on Penn and undefeated Navy early this morning in Annapolis, Md. Later in the day, the lightweights square off against Yale and undefeated Princeton in New Haven.
Sink That Battleship
The Harvard heavyweight varsity, ranked fourth in the East last week, came from behind to upset third-ranked Princeton and catapult into this week's second-place slot--behind Navy.
Sixth-ranked Penn's one loss was to Princeton, now ranked fourth in the East.
The only blemish on the 2-1 Crimson's record is a loss two weeks ago to Brown, now ranked third in the East. The lineup that fell to the Bruins has been reshuffled, and the current eight--coxed by senior Dave Corey--is a larger, faster crew.
"There's a lot of potential the boat didn't use," Corey said after last week's victory over the Tigers.
The potential in the lineup includes senior Andy Sudden, a 1984 Olympic silver medalist, and sophomore Curt Pieckenhagen, who was the last oarsman cut from the Canadian Olympic champion eight.
The potential in the lightweight varsity has hardly been tested in Eastern competition, but the 150s' record shows a loss three weeks ago at the San Diego Crew Classic. Both San Diego State and Harvard--with current stroke James Sheldon then pacing the j.v.--finished behind Yale.
The Bulldogs, however, came back East and promptly lost to Cornell. The Big Red's one loss was to Princeton. So while the Crimson has a score to settle with Yale, it has something bigger to prove to the unbeaten Tigers.
Harvard-Yale Princeton competition, traditionally hard-fought anyway, has special significance in men's lightweight crew, where the Big Three really are the Big Three.
The winner of the varsity HYP race has gone on to win the Eastern Sprints in 15 of the last 20 years, and the Tigers have taken three of the last four.
Lightweight j.v. cox Mike Mollerus, an advanced standing senior, has never beaten Princeton. In directing his crew to a 14-second victory over Navy last week, however, he and the oarsmen set out to "send a message" to the Tigers, who edged the Midshipmen by five seats.
"This year, "Mollerus says "It's our turn."