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Crimson A Four Secures Tail Victory

Harvard’s A four won the Tail of the Charles in 12:53.0, followed by the B four 1.7 seconds later. The lightweight A four came in 12th, and the B four came in two places after. The freshmen dominated by a 30-second margin.
Harvard’s A four won the Tail of the Charles in 12:53.0, followed by the B four 1.7 seconds later. The lightweight A four came in 12th, and the B four came in two places after. The freshmen dominated by a 30-second margin.
By Christina C. Mcclintock, Crimson Staff Writer

It was never a question of whether a Harvard four would win the Tail of the Charles. It was just a matter of which one.

After a week of practices in which the Crimson’s top-two fours had raced evenly, Harvard’s A four, which turned in a time of 12:53.0, edged out its teammates in the B four by 1.7 seconds.

The B four, meanwhile, topped third-place Brown by 12.6 seconds.

“We can’t really ask for too much more,” said captain Mike DiSanto, who stroked the B four. “Everyone really showed up this morning. Harry had been talking to us about ending the season in a good way, and I think we think we definitely did that this morning.”

Because the crews each started around 30 seconds apart, rowers were unable to gage their progress by looking at other boats.

“It was basically like a time trial,” junior three seat James O’Connor said.

“There was nothing going on around us,” added senior stroke Pat Lapage. “We had to channel any aggression into getting the most out of each other.”

The Crimson’s winning crew consisted of O’Connor, Lapage, junior Josh Hicks, sophomore Andy Holmes, and junior coxswain David Fuller.

Harvard’s B four consisted of DiSanto, sophomores Caspar Jopling and Andrew Reed, senior Sam O’Connor, and senior coxswain Alex Sopko, who is also a Crimson sports editor.

“In our boat, we knew our best competition was going to be [the A four],” DiSanto said. “We realized if we wanted to do well and be close to them, we were going to have to row a really strong race.”

One of the most impressive finishes of the day came from Harvard’s E four, which finished sixth overall.

The unexpected result was good for fifth among A fours and second among B fours.

Meanwhile, the Crimson’s D and C fours took ninth and 10th, respectively. The C, D, and E fours defeated all other C, D, and E fours. Harvard’s F, G, and H fours also won their divisions.

“The sophomores have done a good job of coming in and pushing us,” Lapage said. “No one’s taking their seats for granted. The squad as a whole is pretty competitive internally. We’re usually well prepared for racing externally.”


After a fall season in which its top boats had cleaned up on their lightweight competition, the Crimson lightweights finished the season racing primarily heavyweights.

The Harvard lightweight A and B fours finished 12th and 14th overall. The next fastest lightweight boat, MIT’s A four, finished 82 seconds off the Crimson’s B four.

“I thought we put in a pretty good piece,” said senior Tim Moore, who rowed in the two seat of the A four. “I think we were a little disappointed. Our bow number was seven, and we finished 12th. A lot of those boats ahead of us were Harvard heavyweight crews. We know how deep their team is, how strong they are ... I think it was still well rowed and well executed.”

The Crimson’s B four finished 11 seconds off its A four.

“I thought we really had one of our best pieces out there,” sophomore stroke Michael Wales said. “We came together as a boat and just got it done.”

Harvard’s C and D fours boat finished ahead of the Engineers’ lightweight B four.


While the fours race was a tight battle between the top-two crews, the freshmen eights race was anything but.

The Crimson won by nearly 30 seconds.

“I think that’s just a testament to Billy [Boyce’s] coaching and the guys as rowers,” DiSanto said. “They see how the varsity squad is, and they want to be competitive.”

While the heavyweights chose to stack their top boat, as is tradition, the lightweights took a different tack and raced even lineups. The two boats finished 18 seconds apart, and were second and third among lightweight crews, behind MIT’s A boat.

“I was really pleased with how some of the novice guys were able to hold their own,” said lightweight freshman coach Linda Muri. “In practice, you can usually count on those guys. I thought they really stepped up to the challenge.”

Muri was also pleased with her C boat, which defeated MIT’s C boat as well as UMass’ heavyweight A boat and heavyweight B boats from Brown, Harvard, and BC.

“They definitely kicked ass and took names,” Muri said.

—Staff writer Christina C. McClintock can be reached at

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