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The Harvard women's hockey team was not the only national champion team this year.
The men's lightweight crew team got its best race of the year in the most important regatta of the year--the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championships.
With a time of 5:39.7, the Crimson raced to a two-second win over second-place Rutgers.
"We had high hopes for the season," said senior James Lenhart. "It sort of validated the whole year."
That is not to mention that heavily-favored Princeton, previously the No. 1 lightweight crew in the country, finished in a dismal sixth with a time of 5:47.7. Also, Columbia, believed to be Princeton's top challenger, finished in fifth at 5:46.1.
"We stayed at a 40 cadence the whole way," Lenhart said. "Columbia was ahead and we surged on Columbia and broke them. We made another surge at the 1000 meter mark. We were watching them, holding them off through the line."
The Crimson's success is owed to hard work in the weeks before the race.
"We worked very intensely over the three weeks and had a lot more speed," co-captain Tom Fallows said. "We tried several different combinations of people in the boat and, more importantly, front-loaded our race to attack the other teams."
The rest of the season set the stage for Harvard, making the Crimson hungry for victory over the Tigers and Lions.
In the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges (EARC) Sprints on May 9, Princeton defeated Columbia and Harvard, 5:50.4 to 5:52.12 to 5:52.83, respectively.
That race and an April 24 loss to the Tigers in the Harvard-Yale-Princeton race, were the only losses the Crimson suffered on the season.
With the most important race still to come at press time, the Harvard heavyweight crew had a moderately successful season.
Going into Saturday's 134th Harvard-Yale Regatta, believed to be the oldest official intercollegiate competition of any kind, the Harvard heavyweights finished as the No. 7 heavyweight crew in the country.
The Crimson, which placed fifth at the EARC Sprints with a time of 5:50.28, could not crack into the upper echelon of heavyweight crews.
"The other crews were faster than us," captain Henry Nuzum said after the loss. "It's a pretty simple sport. There were four crews out there who were better than us today."
Rivals Princeton and Penn, the No. 2 and 5 crews, respectively, handed the Crimson its only dual meet losses on the season.
But those losses were alleviated by an early-season win over No. 3 Brown. The Crimson won with a 5:46.0 to the Bears' 5:48.3 on April 10.
Harvard also notched victories over Northeastern, MIT and Navy.
On May 29, the Radcliffe heavyweight crew finished in sixth place at the NCAA Championships on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif.
The Black-and-White finished with a time of 7:02.79, well behind champion Brown's 6:46.89.
Coach Liz O'Leary said after the race that it was an encouraging result.
"I thought it was a really strong performance overall," O'Leary said. "We came out here to race against the best crews in the country, and to consider yourself part of that group is rewarding."
At the Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges (EAWRC) Sprints on May 16, Radcliffe rowed to a fourth-place finish with a time of 6:12.4. Brown rowed to a 6:02.1.
During the dual season, Radcliffe dropped races only to Brown and Princeton. The Princeton race was just a.7-second loss.
The Black-and-White won races against Cornell, MIT, Northeastern, Syracuse, Dartmouth, Boston University, Wisconsin and Yale.
"These seniors are the most intense, tough people I know," junior Anne Browning said. "Their level of intensity and determination cannot be replaced. I'll really miss racing with them."
The Radcliffe lightweights finished the season with a fourth-place finish at the IRA Championships, coinciding with the team's national ranking.
The Black-and-White's 6:48.6 was not enough to challenge first-place Princeton's 6:32.3. The Tigers' closest competitors were Villanova and Virginia, who were sandwiched in between Radcliffe and Princeton.
At Sprints, Radcliffe was third out of four teams with a time of 6:37.5, behind Princeton's 6:31.2 and Virginia's 6:36.3.
The dual meet season was highlighted by two wins over Brown and another over Tufts. The boat was unable to take races over Princeton and Virginia in the early part of the season.
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