Mather Wins Closest Straus Race Ever

The year was 1989. Wielding sledgehammers, picks and shovels, thousands of freedom-loving Germans brought down the Berlin Wall, the symbol of Eastern isolation and oppressive communism. The same year, throwing elbows and fists, the Detroit Pistons brought the Los Angeles Lakers' hopes of a three-peat crashing down as well.

The Lakers had won the NBA title two years in a row, but the Bad Boys from Motown ended the dream with a four-game sweep in the finals.

The year is 1993. Wielding jack-hammers and driving bulldozers, construction workers have brought down the walls of Matthews Hall, the mice-infested abode at the corner of the Yard. The same year, another Bad group has ended the hopes of a team in search of its three-peat.

And with two consecutive Straus Cups and a third in sight, Leverett House--rabbits and all--fell to Mather House in the 1992-93 Harvard Intramural Straus Cup competition.

But unlike the 1989 NBA championship series, this one was close. In fact, it was the closest Straus Cup finish in intramural history, according to Director of Intramurals John Wentzel.


Although Mather started the spring season with what seemed to be an insurmountable 80-point lead, then-third-place Leverett battled back and ended up losing by just 20 points.

"We worked really hard to make sure that Leverett didn't win again," says senior Marcy Bashe, Mather's head intramural secretary.

Mather and Leverett have been trading the Straus Cup back and forth for the past four years, and have developed a heated intramural rivalry.

This year Mather collected 1,638 points to Leverett's 1,618 Lowell House finished third with 1,549. Last year's runner-up, Quincy House, dropped to fourth place this season.

The question of which house would hold the Cup for the next year remained unanswered until the final day of competition. With 580 points riding on the finals of the spring season, Lowell, Leverett and Mather all had the intramural championship within reach.

But Mather held off a feisty Leverett squad that compiled 903 points in the spring season to take the Cup.

"We literally had no idea who had won until the last final was over," says junior Karin Garvey, another one of Mather's intramural secretaries.

Mather's overall Straus Cup triumph, however, was won several months earlier.

Coming out of the fall season, Lowell held a slight lead.

Then, came the storm.