Lightweight Crew Wins National Title

The Harvard men's varsity lightweight crew team won its third national championship in five years Saturday in a time of 5:47.5.

The Crimson beat out five other top collegiate crews to win the finals of the Intercollegiate Association Championships, held in Camden, New Jersey. Princeton finished the 2,000 meter course 1.7 seconds behind Harvard, followed by Yale, Cornell, Navy and Holy Cross.

"[The Princeton crew team] came up to us after [the race] and said they'd rowed their best race [at Camden] and we still beat them," said three-seat John S. Burkhart '95.

The national championship victory follows the Crimsons sweep at Sprints two weeks ago.

"We were ranked third going into Eastern Sprints, having lost to both Princeton and Yale during the season," said stroke Matthew B. Emans '96. "However, we were able to win quite handily with a 4.5 second margin [at Sprints]."

After the Sprints win, however, rowers from other teams had questioned the significance of the Crimson's win, Emans said.

"There were screwy wind conditions at Sprints; we had a lane that was more protected from the head winds than the other lanes, so many [other rowers] wrote off the win," he said.

"It did seem that the people who were in the lane we were in were winning all day," Burkhart said. "Seeing that Princeton had beaten us a week before [Sprints] by five seconds, we still felt like we had something to prove."

The last school to win both Sprints and the Intercollegiate Rowing Championships was Harvard in 1991.

Harvrad's championship marks the end of the crew's regular season. With its win at Eastern Sprints, the crew qualified for the Royal Henley Regatta, to be held in England at the end of June.

At the meet, the Harvard men's lightweight crew will complete for five days against lightweight and heavyweight teams from around the world.

Competing teams will include collegiate and club-level teams, all of which have qualified for the English regatta by winning their respective divisions.

The Harvard rowers say they are confident about their chances.

"I think we'll be very competitive if we continue to train and get faster," said Christopher J. Shulte '95, the coxswain and captain of the team.