“One if by land, and two if by sea”—so goes the legend of Paul Revere’s strategy to warn revolutionary soldiers of the British Army’s approach. Unlike these soldiers, however, Navy failed to accurately predict the attack of Harvard men’s lightweight crew.
Recently reaching the top echelon of the rankings, the No. 1 ranked squad did what it has continued to do the whole season, edging out the Midshipmen by a second on a beautiful day on the Severn River this weekend in Annapolis, Maryland.
The Crimson entered Saturday vying for the Haines cup against No. 7 Navy and No. 6 Delaware and continued their impressive stretch of cup wins and unbeaten start to the season.
The first varsity boat, stroked by junior David Wexner and steered by junior coxswain Jack Stone, countered a late Midshipmen sprint in the last couple hundred of meters to win in 6:04.1 to Navy’s close 6:05.3. For Stone, the race was certainly not an easy one to capture.
“Navy is always a really tough team and especially on their own course,” Stone said. “They have this incredible that they always do in the last 600 meters when you reach their seawall, which is a wall that marks 600 meters to go. So we were leading them from the first stroke and they were tough racers the entire time and has a great sprint, but we just edged them out. It was a great race.”
The competitive day of racing continued with tight races throughout. In a true race of margins, Harvard’s fifth varsity boat barely finished ahead of the Midshipmen by half a second. This win proved to be the difference in the overall points trophy, which the Crimson won three races to two.
“Last year, we didn’t win the points trophy at Navy,” Stone said. “The first two boats and the bottom three boats lost, and you need to win three out of the five boats to win this trophy, so since Navy is especially a tough team in the lower boats, it was awesome to see the fifth boat win and bring home the trophy, so we got both trophies this weekend.”
Back home on the Charles River, in beautiful weather that could only instill misconceptions of Cambridge meteorology to pre-frosh at Visitas, the No. 6 Radcliffe women’s sparred against No. 7 MIT and No. 2 Boston University.
Although besting the Engineers in all four races, the Black and White fell to the Terriers. Boston University collected the Beanpot while Harvard settled with the Muri Cup. In the first varsity eight, the Terriers finished in 7:12.3, eight seconds in front of the Crimson boat, steered by junior coxswain McKenzie Parks and stroked by senior Alanah Anderson, and 14 seconds ahead of the Engineers. Boston University rowed six seconds faster than the rest of the field in all four races.
On the Housatonic River in Connecticut, the No. 16 Radcliffe heavyweight women’s team battled its Ancient Eight rival in No. 5 Yale along with Northeastern. The Bulldogs comfortably won all five races on the day and in doing so emerged with the Case Cup. The Black and White did not leave empty-handed however; by taking four of five races from the Huskies, Harvard took the Rowlands trophy.
The two varsity eight races were closely contested between the Black and White and Northeastern. In the first varsity race, Radcliffe’s boat, steered by senior coxswain Kaitlyn Felsheim and stroked by sophomore Grace Eysenbach, brushed past the Huskies in 6:10.1 by only a margin of 1.3 seconds. The second varsity race told a similar story, with the Black and White finishing less than a second in front of its Northeastern opponent in 6:21.8.
Joining its lightweight counterparts in Maryland, the No. 6 Harvard men’s heavyweight crew battled No. 15 Penn and No. 16 Navy, winning both the Adams Cup and Clothier trophy.
“The latter of the two is a points trophy,” said senior captain Conor Harrity, who sat in the third seat of the first varsity eight. “So it’s our 1V, 2V, 3V, 4V, 5V all contribute to that cup, so in that aspect, it’s a pretty important race, so we really built up during the week focusing on the execution of our race, and we went out there on Saturday and across the board, I think we had some great finishes.”
Harvard dominated the first varsity eight, in 5:59.7, almost seven seconds ahead of Penn and 10 seconds ahead of Navy. Steered by senior coxswain Cole Durbin and stroked by junior Arthur Doyle, the Crimson came strong out of the start and never let up.
“We have been building over the last couple of weeks on setting different rhythms out of the blocks and really attacking and being as aggressive as possible throughout the entire piece, and I think early on, our stern pair did a great job of setting a fantastic rhythm and we were pretty aggressive,” Harrity said. “We were able to extend our lead pretty early on and we just built through the entire piece on that really solid rhythm.”
Harrity takes the wins this weekend in stride and hopes to continue developing faster boats come significant races later in the season.
“Just looking to build speed, continue to progress week to week as we head into Eastern Sprints in a couple of weeks, the IRA which is about five weeks after that, and then finally we have Harvard-Yale,” Harrity said. “We’re looking to improve each week and build our speed come the championship season.”
—Staff writer Leon K. Yang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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