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Harvard men’s crew capped off its fall season with a strong showing at the Foot of the Charles, with the Crimson heavyweights winning the regatta and the lightweights putting up consistent performances.
The regatta—hosted by crosstown rival Boston University—featured boats from MIT, Northeastern, Boston College, and Brown. The races took place on Saturday and were marked by sunny skies and light winds, as well as alumni who gathered for the weekend to support their alma mater.
“We’ve got a really good measuring stick for where we’re at,” said senior James O’Connor, who competed in the varsity four race. “After a solid winter training session, we are probably going to be in a pretty good place come springtime.”
The heavyweights finished first in the varsity four and freshman eight races, notching their third and sixth straight victories, respectively.
“It’s a good culmination to the fall season because we have been putting in some hard work, and it’s good to see where we are at in this stage of the year,” O’Connor said.
The varsity four was a close race, but the Crimson finished on top with a time of 13:11.1. The next three boats finished within a second of one another, with Northeastern edging BU and Harvard’s B boat for second place.
“We learned that Northeastern, BU, Brown and the rest of out local opposition are very strong,” O’Connor said.
Despite a competitive showing from its crosstown rivals, the Crimson was the only team to finish with five boats in the top 20 after its other boats placed seventh, 13th, and 16th. Three other Harvard heavyweight fours came in 23rd, 34th, and 35th.
In the freshman eight race, Harvard came in first with a time of 12:18.3, beating out second-place Northeastern by four seconds.
The Crimson B boat came in fourth, 42 seconds off Brown’s time, but placed ahead of the Harvard lightweights by four seconds. The B boat also beat out BC’s top heavyweight team.
Sixteen boats participated in the freshman eight race, in which Harvard also took 10th and 15th place.
The team will return to competition in March for the dual season.
“We’ve got quite a while until our next proper race, so now we are going to just start putting in the hard yards,” O’Connor said.
Harvard lightweight crew raced in the varsity four and freshman eight races, with the top boats in each category finishing fifth and 11th, respectively.
The Crimson’s top varsity four boat beat out 29 other boats, including 10 heavyweight squads. The Crimson was neck-and-neck with Northeastern throughout the course, but the Huskies edged ahead towards the end of the race and came in .3 seconds ahead.
Harvard’s lightweight B boat came in 22 seconds behind and placed 14th overall, and a third varsity four boat finished 29th.
Four boats raced in the freshmen eight category, with the top lightweights placing fifth, coming in four seconds behind the Crimson’s heavyweight B boat. Harvard topped every other lightweight team in that category.
“It was probably our strongest race of the fall season,” said freshman Sam Frum, who rowed in Harvard’s freshman eight A boat. “It sets a nice trajectory heading into the spring, and we are going into winter training on a high note.”
With the help of freshman walk-ons, the Crimson also notched seventh, 11th, and 13th place finishes.
“[The Crimson novices] beat every other walk-on boat,” Frum said. “They are coming along quickly, and they weren’t that far behind the recruits.”
With the fall season over, the team will look to the championship regatta in the spring. According to Frum, the fall season provided valuable preparation and training for the rookies.
“We all got to campus rowing really differently, so the fall was a development for us,” Frum said. “The championship regatta in the spring is our goal, and the fall is preparation for that because the races aren’t that high pressure.”
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