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Harvard Heavyweights Overcome Conditions, Sweep Cornell

Pictured: The Crimson second varsity edges ahead of the Big Red.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The Harvard heavyweight crew overcame challenging racing conditions and early leads by Cornell in two of four races to sweep the Big Red on a windy Saturday morning on the Charles River.

The third-ranked Crimson varsity eight started its spring season with a 17.9-second victory, and the second and third varsities came from behind to win. Harvard's freshmen made an impressive collegiate debut, defeating Cornell's rookies by 14.3 seconds. All four races were contested directly into a fierce headwind, and the conditions deteriorated as the morning progressed.

"They were very, very challenging conditions, and I thought the guys dealt with them well," said Harry Parker, The Thomas Bolles Head Coach for Harvard Men's Crew.

The toughest conditions came in the final event, the varsity eight, with whitecap waves in the first quarter of the race. The Crimson was up to the challenge, building its lead throughout and finishing in 6:58.9. Sixth-ranked Cornell crossed in 7:16.8. Harvard's freshman eight earlier pulled away from the Big Red to win in 6:48.3. 

Cornell's second varsity led by as much as three-quarters of a boat length in the early going, but Harvard evened the race by the midway point. The Crimson took control from there and went on to win by 9.3 seconds with a time of 6:50.7.

"It was tough rowing, and all our crews did very well," Parker said. "I was particularly pleased with the junior varsity coming back after trailing by so much in the early going. The third varsity was a very good race, a great duel."

The Crimson and Big Red third varsities raced first and closest. After the Harvard boat was stopped by an over-the head crab within the breakage zone, the race was restarted and Cornell got off the line well. The Big Red stretched its advantage to as much six seats in the second 500 meters. Harvard, however, drew even and the race was tightly contested until the Crimson won by a half-length.

Varsity Eight
Harvard 6:58.9
Cornell 7:16.8

Second Varsity Eight
Harvard 6:50.7
Cornell 7:00.0

Third Varsity Eight
Harvard 6:48.0
Cornell 6:50.2

Freshman Eight
Harvard 6:48.3
Cornell 7:02.6