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The Harvard men's crew team is a bit like Arnold Schwarzenneger's Terminator.
Both are powerful, have pretty intimidating reputations and both seem to come on strong even after losing some important parts.
Although the Crimson has lost some important components from last year's team--which was ranked second nationally--look for Harvard to continue to generate success.
Last year's captain and co-Bingham Award winner Jon Bernstein has gone on to Olympic training, as have Keir Pearson and Peter Sharis, two of last year's stalwarts. Harvard will have to depend on returnees from last season's varsity boats and members of last year's undefeated freshman boat to fill their voids.
"We're hopeful for a good season," Harvard Coach Harry Parker said. "It's going to depend a lot on how the sophomores and the people from last year's third boat replace the seniors who graduated. It's going to take a while for us to be as effective as those who left."
The molding of the 1991 Crimson will fall into Parker's capable hands. Parker--who has coached Harvard crews for 29 seasons--is among the best in the business. His win-loss record of 115-29 (.839 winning percentage) is the best ever in Crimson history. He has coached
Leading the returnees from last season's first boat is senior captain George Henry. He occupied the second seat last year, and teammates Owen West and Peter Morgan--who backed him in the third and fourth seats last season--will row in the same positions once again this year. Senior Dan Justicz, who rowed in the seventh seat last season, returns, as does coxswain Travis Metz.
Juniors Snorre Lorgen and Greg Osgood, each of whom occupied seats on the second varsity boat last season, should see some time on the first boat this time around. Classmate Steve Trafton, who rowed on the third boat in 1990, also must contribute for the Crimson to enjoy another successful season.
Brothers John and Bill Cooper, who played a large role in the freshman boat's perfect season last year, are two more newcomers to the varsity boats. Ethan Ayer, Steini Brown and Derek Sulger, veterans of last season's freshman boat, also will play key roles.
The perennially tough Ivy League competition will provide its share of challenges for the young Crimson. "It's hard to predict how we'll do," Parker said. "Crews are very strong in the East.
"Brown will be our foremost competition, and after that, Cornell appears very strong," Parker added. "We could possibly have some trouble with Yale as well."
The team's early Ivy schedule may be beneficial for Harvard, though, and the team will have to mature in a hurry.
"We have a very tough schedule." Parker said. "Clearly the later meets are the most important. Later on we've got the Eastern Sprints and the Harvard-Yale meet, but until then, all the meets are important."
The lightweight crew will be looking to peak by the time of the Sprint Championships in Worcester in mid-May. Until then, Charlie Butt's team will focus on capturing the Goldthwait Cup, which eluded the Crimson last year. Harvard finished third in Cup competition last season.
"We've got some people with good experience," Butt said. "Princeton and Yale have always been strong and Princeton appears strong again. But this group has a solid chance of winning the Ivy League championship."
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