WORCESTER, Mass.—The Harvard heavyweight crew captured the Rowe Cup team championship and freshman eight title for the third straight year at the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges Sprints Sunday on Lake Quinsigamond. The Crimson varsity and second varsity eights finished second, as Harvard medaled in each of its six events.
The fourth varsity eight also won gold for the year in a row, while the third varsity and second freshman eights took bronze as part of yet another outstanding team performance for the Crimson. Harvard has now won the Rowe Cup 32 times in the 67-year history of Sprints, including eight times in the last 11 years. Harvard finished three points ahead of varsity champion Brown in the Rowe Cup standings.
The Bears edged the Crimson by barely three-tenths of a second for the Eastern and Ivy titles, while Wisconsin won the second varsity final by less than seven-tenths over runner-up Harvard. The Crimson has finished first or second in each of the last four Sprints varsity grand finals.
"While I was disappointed to lose, I think all of our crews rowed really well," said Harry Parker, in his 50th season as the Thomas Bolles Head Coach for Harvard Crew. "I think our varsity and JV crews rowed outstanding races; I can't imagine anything else they could have done. It's a credit to Brown and Wisconsin and how strong they were."
Harvard led throughout much of the freshman grand final on the way to its third straight Eastern championship, but Northeastern stayed close. The unbeaten Crimson led by half a boat length at the race's midway point and finished 2.2 seconds ahead of the Huskies with a winning mark of 6:02.621.
"They showed really remarkable poise," first-year freshman coach William Boyce said of his top boat. "They've been in some tough races and have shown good poise all season long. The guys know how to handle themselves, and there's a real positive energy throughout the whole group."
Brown won a thrilling varsity grand final. Harvard led by one seat through 750 meters and extended the margin to one-third of a length through 1,000. Brown stuck with the Crimson as the two crews distanced themselves from the field. Harvard clung to a slim lead as Brown picked up its stroke rate to try as the boats approached the finish. The Bears overtook the Crimson in the final strokes, and Harvard could not counter in time, finishing in 5:49.910 to Brown's mark of 5:49.608.
The Bears handed Harvard its first loss in any varsity eight race this season, and Wisconsin defeated a Crimson second varsity that is undefeated in dual racing. Through 300 meters, the Badgers held a slim lead on a field separated by just three seats. Harvard established a hold on second place before the 1,000-meter mark, a half-length back of Wisconsin. The Badgers later increased that margin to seven seats, and the Crimson's comeback to finish in 5:57.854 came up just short of Wisconsin's 5:57.211.
The Crimson wrapped up its first Eastern title of the day in just its second race, the fourth varsity final. Harvard, Brown and Navy raced closely over most of the course before the Crimson finished in 6:06.418, more than two seconds ahead of the runner-up Bears.
Harvard and Wisconsin battled for second place in the third varsity eight grand final. The Badgers edged the Crimson by less than one-fifth of a second, as Harvard finished in 6:14.856. The second freshman eight also earned bronze with its time of 6:47.721 as Wisconsin edged Navy for first place.
Team Points (Rowe Cup)
Boston University 18
Holy Cross 1
George Washington 0
Second Varsity Eight
Holy Cross 6:21.332
Boston University 6:00.072
Holy Cross 6:27.550
Third Varsity Eight
Boston University 6:08.425
Fourth Varsity Eight
Navy HW 6:09.061
Navy LW 6:40.658
Second Freshman Eight