Harvard Heavyweight Eights Through to IRA Semis, Open Four to Grand

The second varsity posted the widest winning margin in any eights race Thursday morning.
The second varsity posted the widest winning margin in any eights race Thursday morning.

CAMDEN, N.J.—A winning morning led to an afternoon off for the Harvard heavyweight eights on the first day of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships Thursday afternoon on the Cooper River.

The Crimson's unbeaten varsity, second varsity and freshman eights won their morning heats to advance directly to Friday's semifinals, avoiding the repechages on Thursday afternoon. The open four also won its heat to clinch a spot in Saturday's grand final. All of the morning races were held in difficult conditions caused by a strong tailwind.

Harvard and Princeton were the fastest crews early on in the Crimson's varsity heat. Harvard built a four-seat edge on the field through 750 meters, pulled away in the third 500 meters and held a boat-length advantage through the final 500 meters. The Crimson's time of 5:33.357 was 1.4 seconds faster than the runner-up Tigers'. Each of the top six seeds in the varsity event advanced straight to the semifinals, as Washington, California, Wisconsin and Brown joined Harvard and Princeton in advancing.

"We were very focused on getting through the heat, ideally winning the heat, which we managed to do," said varsity coxswain Chris Kingston. Regarding the transition from the four-mile distance of last weekend's Harvard-Yale race back to the 2,000-meter sprint, he added, "We're feeling really comfortable again. There were a few things that we wanted to focus on that we learned last year, and I think we've done really well."

Yale held a two-seat lead through 500 meters of Harvard's second varsity heat, but the Crimson edged ahead in the second 500 to take a four-seat edge to the race's midpoint. That lead was nearing seven seats with 750 to go, when the Bulldogs, locked in a tight race for second with Syracuse and Dartmouth, were the victim a damaged boat. Harvard had an open-water advantage on Orange by that point and went on to win by nearly five seconds in 5:44.671.

The Crimson freshmen won their heat by 2.6 seconds in 5:38.791, while Navy edged Brown by five-hundredths of a second for the second semifinal berth. Harvard led by nearly a boat length through 1,000 meters and maintained its advantage as the Midshipmen and Bears battled to the finish.

In the open four, Harvard trailed in the early going but pushed through the Bulldogs and went on to win by four seconds, claiming the heat's only berth in the grand final. The Crimson finished in 6:24.067.

The varsity four placed fifth in its heat in 6:32.822 and fourth in its afternoon repechage in 6:29.935 and will race in Saturday's third-level final.

Varsity Eight
Heat 1
Washington 5:32.251
Brown 5:33.726
Cornell 5:40.738
Stanford 5:42.949
Syracuse 5:47.233
Gonzaga 6:06.276

Heat 2
California 5:28.770
Wisconsin 5:30.706
Navy 5:36.829
Boston University 5:38.907
Georgetown 5:50.077
UC San Diego 6:03.243

Heat 3

Harvard 5:33.357
Princeton 5:34.743
Yale 5:35.579
Penn 5:42.467
Dartmouth 5:46.053
Columbia 5:46.359

Repechage 1
Stanford 5:38.000
Navy 5:38.474
Georgetown 5:38.780
Penn 5:39.405
Columbia 5:51.175
Gonzaga 5:55.519

Repechage 2
Cornell 5:36.457
Yale 5:37.453
Syracuse 5:37.912
Boston University 5:38.881
Dartmouth 5:48.166
UC San Diego 6:00.261

Second Varsity Eight
Heat 1
Washington 5:44.202
Brown 5:46.338
Boston University 5:46.506
Penn 6:00.619

Heat 2
Harvard 5:44.671
Syracuse 5:49.588
Dartmouth 5:55.874
UC San Diego 6:17.995
Yale 7:09.836

Heat 3
California 5:39.173
Wisconsin 5:42.827
Cornell 5:52.103
Navy 6:03.573
Gonzaga 6:19.855

Penn 5:44.777
Navy 5:46.354
Princeton 5:47.405
UC San Diego 6:04.840
Gonzaga 6:22.059

Freshman Eight
Heat 1
Princeton 5:36.457
Washington 5:41.142
Wisconsin 5:58.227
Gonzaga 6:00.438
Penn 6:03.343
Yale 6:57.841

Heat 2

Harvard 5:38.791
Navy 5:41.393
Brown 5:41.439
Syracuse 5:59.224
UC San Diego 6:03.125
Dartmouth 6:13.333

Heat 3
California 5:37.528
Cornell 5:41.431
Boston University 5:42.374
Stanford 5:51.690

Repechage 1
Brown 5:41.451
Stanford 5:49.713
UC San Diego 5:49.864
Yale 5:51.967
Gonzaga 6:10.036

Repechage 2
Boston University 5:44.476
Columbia 5:46.667
Dartmouth 5:47.638
Wisconsin 5:50.891
Syracuse 5:55.349
Penn 6:01.784

Open Four
Heat 1
Washington 6:19.227
Wisconsin 6:21.777
Navy 6:33.910
Penn 6:44.627

Heat 2

Harvard 6:24.067
Brown 6:28.001
Yale 6:29.563
Cornell 6:32.980 

Varsity Four
Heat 1
Brown 6:14.553
Syracuse 6:25.404
Penn 6:29.300
Boston University 6:29.393
Harvard 6:32.822

Heat 2
Washington 6:17.282
Holy Cross 6:22.676
Temple 6:31.998
Stanford 6:44.042
Dartmouth 7:10.372

Heat 3
Northeastern 6:18.661
Drexel 6:19.559
Georgetown 6:23.191
George Washington 6:27.569
California 6:35.215

Heat 4
Wisconsin 6:21.056
Navy 6:22.446
Hobart 6:26.041
Yale 6:31.151

Repechage 1
George Washington 6:19.082
Temple 6:22.850
Hobart 6:26.571
Boston University 6:30.840
Dartmouth 6:55.664

Repechage 2
Georgetown 6:19.095
Stanford 6:22.989
California 6:26.628
Harvard 6:29.935
Yale 6:34.233
Penn 6:35.020