Harvard Heavyweight Crew Goes for Repeat at EARC Sprints
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The Harvard heavyweight crew will compete in the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges Sprints Championships Sunday, May 15 on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. Racing begins at 8:20 a.m., as the Crimson, with four undefeated and top-seeded boats, seeks its second straight Sprints varsity and team titles.
Of the six events that contribute to the Sprints team competitions (heavy and light varsity, second varsity and freshman eights), Harvard enters with a perfect dual record in five events and a combined 38-4 dual-racing record.
Sprinting to Success
Harvard has more Sprints titles than any other school. Adding up the six major divisions at Eastern Sprints, Harvard crews have combined to win 136 titles, including 50 at the varsity level (26 heavyweight, 24 lightweight).
Last Season at Sprints
The Harvard heavyweights won four grand finals, including in the varsity and freshman eights, and took home the Rowe Cup as team champion. Each of the Crimson's six entries raced in a grand final, with the fourth varsity eight and second freshman four also winning and the third varsity eight placing third. The varsity eight finished 2.5 seconds ahead of the field, and the freshmen sprinted past Princeton to win by less than a half-second.
Quest for the Cup
Harvard's team victory last season brought the Rowe Cup to Newell Boathouse for a league‑high 30th time. Six of those wins have come in the last nine years. Since 2002, the Harvard heavy and lightweights have won a combined nine team trophies.
On 12 occasions, most recently in 2005, both the Harvard heavyweight and lightweight varsity eights won Sprints gold medals, a feat that has only been accomplished four times by non‑Harvard crews. The Crimson won both divisions in 1947, '59, '66, '68, '69, '74, '75, '77, '80, '88, '89 and 2005.
Only 11 times in the 64-year history of Sprints and on just six occasions since 1957 has Harvard failed to win at least one major grand final in either the heavyweight or the lightweight division. In one of those seasons (1981), the Crimson did not compete due to final exams. In two others (heavyweight in 1992, lightweight in 2009), Harvard has won a team cup despite not coming away with a gold medal.
The top-finishing Ivy League varsity eights in the heavy and light divisions will win the Ancient Eight title. The Harvard heavyweights have earned 26 Ivy crowns since 1957, while the lightweights have won 23.
A top-nine heavyweight varsity finish or top‑seven lightweight showing is needed to land an EARC crew in the 109th IRA National Championships June 2-4 on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J. Harvard has won three IRA heavyweight titles in the last eight years and seven IRA lightweight crowns.
Dual Season Recap
The Crimson heavyweight crew enters its championship season having won each of the 20 races in which it has entered an eight. In a season characterized by difficult racing conditions, Harvard has repeatedly come out on top, starting with an 18.1-second victory against visiting Cornell.
In the matchup between the last two Sprints varsity champions, Harvard swept five races from Brown, taking the varsity race for the Stein Cup by 2.6 seconds. The race was even tighter in the race for the Compton Cup at Princeton, where the Crimson outlasted the Tigers by 1.2 seconds, while the lower boats won by wide margins.
As part of a five-race sweep of Navy and Penn on the Schuylkill River, the Harvard varsity beat the Midshipmen by four seconds and the Quakers by 15.6. The Harvard freshmen faced their toughest test so far against neighboring Northeastern, winning by 1.2 seconds. The varsity, meanwhile, pulled away to a 14.7-second victory for the Smith Cup.
Records and Rankings
Harvard owns the top-seeded varsity eight (6-0), second varsity eight (5‑0), freshman eight (7-0) and third varsity eight (5-0) in the East. The fourth varsity is 1-0 in fourth-varsity competition and also defeated Princeton's third varsity. The Crimson freshman four is 1-1. The varsity has been ranked third nationally, behind Washington and California, all season. A full listing of seeds is available here.
Cox: Chris Kingston, 8: Patrick Lapage, 7: Jason Phillips, 6: Nick Jordan, 5: Matthew Edstein, 4: Anthony Locke, 3: Michael DiSanto, 2: Josh Hicks, 1: James O'Connor
Second Varsity Eight
Cox: David Fuller, 8: Peter Scholle, 7: Justin Mundt, 6: Benjamin French, 5: Elihu Reynolds, 4: Phil Matthews, 3: David Wakulich, 2: Parker Washburn, 1: JP Hogan
Third Varsity Eight
Cox: Alex Sopko, 8: Jack Morrissey, 7: Conner Griffith, 6: Mihailo Malowany, 5: Alex Soutter, 4: Alex Macintosh, 3: Andrew Hamm, 2: Andrew Stein, 1: David Paresky
Fourth Varsity Eight
Cox: Colby Wilkason, 8: Matt Vincent, 7: Eli Shikaloff, 6: William Polachek, 5: Nolan Pollock, 4: Nigel Munoz, 3: Andrew Safir, 2: Edward Winters Ronaldson, 1: Tom Hanson
Cox: William Hakim, 8: Andrew Holmes, 7: Jake Sobstyl, 6: Caspar Jopling, 5: Gregory Edwards, 4: Max Monfared, 3: Andrew Reed, 2: Ben Lynton, 1: Jamie Law-Smith
Cox: Brittanie Maxwell, 4: Patrick Duffy, 3: Nick Jaroszewicz, 2, Daniel Ranard, 1: Patrick Galvin
The Harvard heavyweight varsity eight has defeated its last 12 and 27 of its last 28 dual opponents, with the lone loss coming last season at Brown. The Crimson has defeated its last 18 dual opponents when racing at home on the Charles River and has beaten 40 of its last 41 home dual opponents. Harvard's last home loss was April 15, 2006 against Princeton. The Harvard freshman eight has defeated 34 straight dual opponents.
Harry Parker, the Thomas Bolles Head Coach for Harvard Men's Crew, is in his 49th season. He has guided the Crimson to 22 varsity Sprints titles, most recently in 2010, and 17 second varsity crowns. Parker's dual coaching record is 304‑44-1, and his varsity has gone undefeated 20 times. The third and fourth varsities are led by assistant coach Boris Kusturic.
Harvard's freshman coach, in his 13th season, is Bill Manning. He has directed the Crimson rookies to the 1999, 2001, '02, '04, '08 and '10 Sprints titles. A Harvard freshman win against Yale would give Manning his fifth straight perfect dual season.
The Harvard heavyweights are captained by senior Anthony Locke (Isle of Wight, England), who has rowed in the varsity eight in every spring race the last three seasons. He has earned bronze medals as part of the Great Britain eight in each of the last two World Rowing Under 23 Championships regattas and won gold at the 2006 World Rowing Junior Championships.
The Varsity Eight
Each oarsman in the Harvard varsity eight won gold at Sprints last season, including five in the varsity eight: senior Anthony Locke and juniors Patrick Lapage (Shrewsbury, England), Nick Jordan (Princeton, N.J.), Matthew Edstein (Sydney, Australia) and Michael DiSanto (Boston, Mass.).
The remaining three rowers were part of the gold-winning Crimson freshman boat last year: Jason Phillips (London, England), Josh Hicks (Waterford, Australia) and James O'Connor (Christchurch, New Zealand). Coxswain Chris Kingston (Bedford, England) guided the varsity to a runner-up Sprints finish in 2009.
Four of the nine varsity athletes are English, and another, Nick Jordan, was schooled at Eton College before coming to Harvard.
Local Ties and Family Ties
South High graduate Patrick Duffy (Worcester, Mass.) strokes the Harvard freshman four. There are two sets of brothers on the Crimson heavyweight squad: James and Sam O'Connor (Christchurch, New Zealand), who is out injured, and twins Alex and Lachlan Macintosh (Cobble Hill, B.C.).
A Winning Boat
The Harvard varsity eight races in the same shell that Malcolm Howard '05 and the Canada men's eight rowed to the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The boat was dedicated in Howard's honor last season.
Harvard's Major Heavyweight Sprints Championships
1947, '48, '49, '59, '64, '65, '66, '67, '68, '69, '70, '74, '75, '76, '77, '80, '83, '85, '88, '89, '90, 2003, '04, '05, '07, '10.
Second varsity eight
1947, '49, '64, '65, '66, '69, '72, '73, '74, '75, '78, '85, '86, '90, '93, 2002, '03, '04, '05, '06.
1949, '50, '55, '58, '63, '65, '67, '72, '76, '80, '83, '84, '85, '86, '90, '99, 2001, '02, '04, '08, '10.
1947, '48, '49, '51, '59, '64, '65, '66, '67, '69, '70, '72, '73, '74, '75, '76, '78, '80, '83, '85, '86, '88, '90, '92, 2002, '03, '04, '06, '07, '10.
On a Roll
Harvard has won the Eastern varsity title in five of the last eight years and is seeking to win back-to-back Sprints crowns for the 16th time. Yale, which has won six outright Sprints titles and shared the gold with Penn in 1962, ranks second in championships won, behind Harvard's 26. Princeton's seven Rowe Cup titles rank second to Harvard's 30.
Harvard has swept the three major heavyweight divisions at Eastern Sprints five times (1945, '65, '85, '90, 2004). Only three other times has one school swept all three races: 1952 (Navy), '79 (Yale) and '94 (Brown). Harvard has won two of the three races on 15 occasions. The Crimson has advanced to the varsity grand final in 61 of its 65 years racing at Sprints.
Before competing for a national title, the Crimson heavyweights will face the rival Bulldogs in the 146th Harvard-Yale Regatta, America's oldest intercollegiate sporting event, May 28 in New London, Conn.