Harvard Heavyweight Crew Places Third at IRA National Championships
CAMDEN, N.J.—The Harvard heavyweight varsity eight and second varsity eight placed third in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships grand final Saturday on the Cooper River.
The varsity locked up the Crimson's second straight top-three national finish, and the second varsity medaled for the third straight year. Harvard rowed in four grand finals, with the freshman eight finishing fifth after being slowed by interference from geese on the course. The open four placed fourth, and the varsity four was second in its petite final.
"I thought it was a great effort by the varsity," said Harry Parker, the Thomas Bolles Head Coach for Harvard Men's Crew. "It was a really courageous effort to stay with Washington and Brown, and I'm proud of the way they raced. It's quite clear they gave it everything they had."
Washington took the national title with its varsity win and captured the other four men's heavyweight races and the Ten Eyck Cup team title. Harvard placed fourth in the team competition, one point behind California. It was part of a strong school showing, as the Harvard lightweights won a national championship and the Radcliffe lightweights captured a bronze medal.
Harvard was in the hunt for a varsity medal throughout the race. Washington took the lead early and reached the midway point of the race in a split of 2:40, leading the second-place Crimson by 1.7 seconds. Cal was lurking close behind, but it was Brown that pulled level with Harvard in the third 500 meters. From there, it was a three-boat race for the national title. The Huskies got it with a course-record time of 5:21.482. Brown was two seconds back and 1.2 ahead of Harvard's time of 5:24.658.
"I'm pleased with the way the other crews rowed as well," Parker added. "The second varsity had a great regatta of three strong races in a row. The fours rowed very well, and the freshmen rowed well but had some terrible luck, being interfered with."
The second varsity final was one of the closest of the day. Washington hung on for a 1.3-second win. Brown finished second, 1.4 seconds ahead of a tightly bunched pack vying for third. The Crimson edged Cal by one-fifth of a second in 5:35.264. Fifth-place Wisconsin was less than a half-second back of the Golden Bears.
The Crimson freshmen missed a medal by less than three seconds despite hitting geese 500 meters into the race and again in the last 500. With Washington outdueling Cal for gold, Harvard was left battling Eastern rivals Northeastern and Cornell for bronze. The Huskies won out, defeating the Big Red by 2.2 seconds, with the Crimson another three-fifths of a second back in a time of 5:46.381. The results were upheld despite Harvard's protest for outside interference.
The Harvard open four challenged the medal-winners early on in its grand final. Washington and Wisconsin took control in the second 500 meters, and California moved into third. After 1,000 meters, the Crimson trailed Cal by a length and led fifth-place Brown by the same margin. The Golden Bears moved on winner Washington and runner-up Wisconsin but could catch neither. Harvard finished 5.2 seconds behind Cal and 2.7 ahead of Brown in 6:25.176.
The next race was the varsity four petite final. The Crimson moved into second and charged hard toward the end of the course but was edged by Holy Cross by 1.5 seconds. Harvard posted a runner-up time of 6:25.533, topping third-place Wisconsin by 1.3 seconds.
Boston University 5:34.888
George Washington 5:38.307
Boston University 122
George Washington 18
Second Varsity Eight
Boston University 5:47.147
Boston University 5:45.684
George Washington 6:07.488
Holy Cross 6:24.034
Boston University 6:31.081