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Harvard and Radcliffe Crew: Rollin' on the Charles River

College, Alumni Field Many Boats In 'Rowing 'Celebration'

By Daniel Roeser

There are two types of crews on the water for the 4,000-boat Head of the Charles: those who care how high they finish and those who don't.

Most of the competitors in, say, the veteran competitions won't be worried about their time as much as whether they make it to the end in good shape.

But Harvard and Radcliffe being Harvard and Radcliffe, the rowers care. And care deeply; despite whatever you saw them doing Friday--or even Saturday--night.

Last year, two Harvard crews broke course records: Harvard's under-20 zipped through the three miles in just 14:58.58 and the Harvard varsity boat was the top college finisher ever in 14:19.92.

"We put a lot on the line [that] year," recalled John Cooper '92.

This year? Who knows. But it won't be for a lack of trying. Harvard crew is fielding fielding seven boats for six regatta events while Radcliffe is fielding five boats of its own.

Something will probably work out. And if it doesn't at least there are plenty of alumni to cheer on.

The College Crews

At the youth (under-20) level, the Crimson hasone boat in the youth lightweight fours andanother in the youth eights. On the club level,Harvard has entered one boat in the club eights.

"The focus is that it's a fun regatta," Harvardheavyweight crew Coach Harry Parker said. "It's alot of fun to take part in it. It's a bigspectacle, a rowing celebration. The crews like totake part, race hard in it, and clearly like to dowell, but it's way too early in the season for usto put much emphasis on winning. It's tough in afield of this size."

The men have entered three boats in thelightweight division--one in the lightweight foursand two in the lightweight eights. Rounding outHarvard's intercollegiate representatives is itsentry in the championship eights.

"Overall, a number of crews have done well overthe years," Parker said. "The [victories] sort ofget scattered around: the club eights, the youtheights. It's hardest to win in the championshipeights and the lightweight eights because theyattract national and international competition,but last year we were third and we were satisfiedwith that."

On the women's side, Radcliffe crew enters fiveteams of its own. Radcliffe heavyweight Coach LizO'Leary has two boats in the youth division.Experienced freshmen are racing in the youth foursandB-10CREWSCrimsonAmanda M. DawsonThe first lightweight boat (seen here in thespring) won the national championship over thesummer and are primed for Sunday's internationalcontest.

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