The Crimson owned Saturday night in Oklahoma City (photo courtesy Oklahoma City University Athletic Communications).
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Harvard men's heavyweight crew opened the 2012-13 season with a dominating performance at the Head of the Oklahoma regatta in Oklahoma City Sept. 29, including topping Olympians from this year's games. The Crimson topped its qualifying race by over 25 seconds before taking the night sprints finale under the lights.
The Crimson had nine seniors in its boat Saturday, including David Fuller doing the coxing. Rowers included classmates Josh Hicks, Andrew Holmes, Alex Macintosh, Mihailo Malowany, Justin Mundt, James O'Connor, Jason Phillips and Parker Washburn.
Harvard opened the event by cruising to victory in the night sprint qualifier. The Crimson finished the 2.5 mile Oklahoma River course in 12:58.879, well ahead of three crews from Oklahoma City University. OCU's top boat finished in second at 13:25.811, while the other two OCU boats finished in third and fourth in 14:03.888 and 14:46.862, respectively. The 12-team race also included crews from Texas, Kansas State, Wichita State, Texas A&M, Kansas and LSU.
In the night sprints grand final, Harvard was paired with the three OCU crews along with two crews out of the USRowing Training Center. The training center crews came into the race with several Olympians from the London games in its lineup. The Crimson, rowing out of lane five, nipped a USRowing boat by 0.152 seconds in the quick sprint with a finishing time of 1:19.357 near Oklahoma City's downtown. OCU's top team finished third with a time of 1:20.787.
Harvard crew will row the Charles River for the remainder of the fall season with the Head of the Charles and Tail of the Charles rounding out the schedule. The Head of the Charles, the Crimson's and rowing world's biggest fall regatta, is slated for Oct. 20-21.