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Winthrop Wins Straus Cup

By Hana N. Rouse, Crimson Staff Writer

Winthrop House cemented its dynasty on Monday, claiming the Straus Cup for its fourth consecutive year and the 14th time since 1935.

At the same ceremony in the Murr Center, freshman dorms Apley Court and Massachusetts Hall took the Yard Bucket, ending a drought that spanned the history of the freshman intramural program.

Residents in Winthrop House attributed their repeated successes to high participation on the part of Winthrop students.

“We just don’t give up when it comes to trying to get people out there,” Maria C. M. Persson Gulda, a resident tutor and IM sports coordinator, said. “There’s an event for everyone, and that’s really the motto in our House.”

And once people make it to the field or the court, the game plan, according to one Winthropian, is easy.

“In Winthrop House, our strategy is very simple: All we do is win,” said Chris W. Higgins ’11.

Though Winthrop’s record set high expectations for the House, its four-peat was not assured from the start. In the fall, Winthrop tied with Leverett, losing out at flag football but scoring a significant win at tennis.

But in the winter, Winthrop secured a substantial lead, thanks to victories in all three basketball leagues. And this spring, Winthrop dominated on many fronts, with repeated wins on the tennis court, the swimming pool, and at the River Run.

Following the ceremony on Monday in the Murr Center, Winthropians stormed the streets, Straus Cup in hand, parading through the other Harvard Houses in victory. Chanting phrases like “Four more years” and “We are Winthrop,” the procession marched through Eliot, Kirkland, and Leverett courtyards, ending in the Winthrop Dining Hall, where they deposited the cup in a trophy case.

The Straus Cup has not changed hands since 2007, when Lowell took the award, but Winthrop’s record is not the longest in recent memory. From 1995 until 2001, the Straus Cup found itself Quadded, with Cabot House boasting a seven-year streak.

For the freshman team of Apley Court and Mass. Hall, which combines in competition due to how small each is individually, victory was, for years, just barely out of reach.

The Class of 2011 and 2012 both came in second for the Yard Bucket, spurring this year’s residents to claim what was almost theirs.

“We used these close finishes as kind of our rallying cry for this year,” said Nathan T. Fry, a proctor in Apley. According to David C. Liu ’14, the IM representative and captain for Apley Court, 27 out of the 28 students in Apley participated in some sport throughout the season.

The Mass. Hall-Apley Court duo edged out Grays in second and Matthews in third. At the ceremony the intramural program also recognized Robert M. Cross ’11, Kelly N. Bodwin ’11, and Alyssa J. Mackey ’11 as Paul F. Gilligan III athletes of the year.

—Staff writer Hana N. Rouse can be reached at hrouse@college.harvard.edu.

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