Rowers say there’s no such thing as a perfect race, and maybe there’s no such thing as a perfect season either.
But up to this point, Harvard’s performance has been about as good as it gets.
All of the Crimson’s eights are undefeated and top-seeded in the EARC, and this weekend—Harvard’s last on the Charles and last dual race before Sprints—the Crimson was triumphant once again, prevailing over Northeastern in the first varsity and first freshman races to take the Smith Cup.
“It’s a mix of dedication on our part and just great coaching,” said junior Mike DiSanto, three seat of the first varsity eight.
While a loss by the freshman four to the Huskies marked the first time a Harvard boat has lost to any opposing crews—including 4V wins over Princeton’s 3V and 1Vs—the 4+ race was a scrimmage, rather than a race for shirts, and therefore the Crimson can rightfully call itself undefeated.
FIRST VARSITY EIGHT
Harvard’s most dominant win came in the first varsity eight race, which the Crimson won by 14.7 seconds.
“We got up, and we just kept moving,” DiSanto said. “That’s something we’ve been working on ... We had what I think was the best race of our season.”
Harvard earned a commanding lead in the first 500, and by the end of the race, it seemed to be racing itself more than it was racing against Northeastern.
“The most important thing to us was rowing our race,” DiSanto said. “We kind of talked about ‘If we do our thing, everything else will fall into place.’ I was really happy with it. I think all the other guys were equally as happy. Everybody in our boat understood that it was our dress rehearsal for Sprints. Guys realized that this race was just as important as any other one we’ve raced this year.”
SECOND AND THIRD VARSITY EIGHTS
While the 1V race proved to be rather one-sided, the race between the Crimson’s 2V and 3V was a hotly contested battle.
Northeastern didn’t have a 2V or a 3V, so Harvard’s eights raced each other.
The 2V’s win over its own 3V was unsurprising, but the 3V kept the race impressively close.
“It looked like the 3V had a very strong row,” said captain Anthony Locke, four seat of the first varsity eight. “I think they were very happy with it.”