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The No. 5 Harvard lightweights won a huge race against No. 6 Navy to capture the Haines Cup on the Charles River on Saturday.
Thanks to a strong start, the Crimson (5-1) was victorious with a time of 6:11.99 over Navy's time of 6:20.64.
"We knew Navy would be ready to go from the start," co-captain Jesse Elzinga said. "We spent the last week working a lot on our start in practice."
The Crimson pulled hard in the first quarter of the race, taking a one-length lead by the 600-meter mark.
"We were strong in our start," Elzinga said. "We were confident in our finish."
By 1500 meters, the Crimson lead had increased to two boat lengths. In a final sprint near the finish, Harvard picked up five more seats and the win.
With the victory, Harvard won the Haines Cup for the 33rd time in 35 chances.
The men's lightweights travel to Princeton this weekend to race against No. 3 Yale and the No. 1 Tigers for the Goldthwait Cup.
"[This weekend] will be a big test for us," Elzinga said. "A lot of people see Yale as the fastest crew in this league, but I think we're one team that can beat them."
The Charles also served as battleground for a race between No. 7 Radcliffe, No. 6 Syracuse, and Dartmouth on Saturday evening.
The Black and White lost the O'Leary Cup to Syracuse in a tight race that predicts tough competition for the team in Eastern Sprints.
"It was disappointing," said co-captain Steph Malliaris. "[The race] started off really well. We were really strong through the first half, but we fell apart in the third 500."
Radcliffe was ranked third in the East, followed by No. 4 Syracuse.
Syracuse pulled in first with a time of 6:56.2, followed by the Radcliffe boat at 6:59.2. Dartmouth finished with a time of 7:21.8.
"The rest of the squad did really well," Malliaris said.
The Radcliffe varsity-four boat pulled in a win despite having to race in the dark. The Black and White won with a time of 8:13.8, over 10 seconds ahead of the other 4 boats in competition.
The novice eight boat was also victorious, with a time of 7:11.2 over Dartmouth's 7:13.9 and Syracuse's 7:44.0. The Radcliffe novice boat had been ranked third in the East behind No. 2 Dartmouth going into the weekend.
The Radcliffe Heavyweights host Yale, tenth in the country and fifth in the East, in the Case Cup next weekend.
The No. 3 Radcliffe lightweights will travel to New Jersey to face No. 2 Princeton and No. 1 Wisconsin next weekend in a race between the top teams in the country.
A week ago, the Harvard heavyweight crew team pulled in one of the biggest upsets of the year when it defeated defending Eastern champion Brown. The win vaulted the Crimson to first in the East and second in the country.
But this Saturday's loss at Princeton came as another upset to a Tigers team that was previously ranked just below Harvard.
"We had a pretty strong start," said senior stroke-seat Sam Brooks. "Princeton made a big move towards the middle of the race, at about 760 meters. We sagged and didn't respond. They were winning by a couple seats at the 1000 and they moved away from there."
Princeton captured the Compton Cup with a time of 5:313 over Harvard's 5:33.6 and MIT's 6:04.6.
The Crimson hosts Penn and Navy next weekend for the Adams Cup.
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