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WORCESTER, Mass.—The Harvard heavyweight crew won four grand finals and swept the Rowe Cup events for its second consecutive varsity and team championships—and its second straight Ivy League title—at the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges Sprints Championships Sunday on Lake Quinsigamond.
The Crimson claimed its 27th Eastern and Ivy titles and its 31st Rowe Cup team win while sweeping the varsity eight, second varsity eight and freshman eight events for the sixth time in program history. It was only the ninth top-three heavyweight sweep by any school in the 65-year history of the Sprints. The three boats have entered 24 races this year and won each one.
The heavyweights' performance was part of an outstanding all-around day for Harvard oarsmen. The Crimson lightweight varsity eight followed their heavier counterparts with an Eastern title of their own, marking the 13th time Harvard has won gold in both varsity eight races. Only four other schools have accomplished that feat, once each. A win by the lightweight second varsity helped the Crimson capture the Jope Cup, giving Harvard a sweep of the EARC team trophies as well.
The Rowe Cup win was the Crimson's seventh in 10 years. Harvard's heavyweight second varsity title was its 21st and first since 2006; the freshman crown was the Crimson's 22nd and third in four years.
Harvard started the varsity race well, gaining an early three-seat lead, but Wisconsin caught up and passed the Crimson in the second 500 meters. Harvard regained its three-seat advantage by the 1,000 mark and led the rest of the way, winning by about two seconds in 5:40.388 as Princeton edged the Badgers for silver.
"It feels great, and I think it feels great for everyone on the team," said Crimson captain Anthony Locke of the Crimson's second title in as many years. "I think it means more the second time because you have something to prove. You have to prove that you're good again, particularly coming in as the first seed."
Coxswain Chris Kingston and rowers Patrick Lapage, Jason Phillips, Nick Jordan, Matthew Edstein, Locke, Michael DiSanto and Josh Hicks earned first-team All-Ivy League honors with the win.
In the second varsity eight grand final, Harvard trailed Princeton and Wisconsin early on but overtook both crews in the second 500 meters. The Crimson built some breathing room in the second half of the race and won in 5:49.013. The Badgers finished second, about 3.5 seconds back, while Syracuse got in front of the Tigers for third.
The Crimson freshman eight gave Harvard its second straight win in the event in convincing fashion. The boat went out fast in the grand final and kept going hard from there. The final margin was nearly six seconds, as the Crimson finished in 5:59.647, followed by Princeton and Northeastern.
Harvard's dominant afternoon followed a dominant morning that saw the Crimson win all four of its heats and the fourth varsity grand final. That boat won its race by more than four seconds over runner-up Navy in 6:16.365, marking the second straight year Harvard has won the fourth varsity event.
The third varsity eight finished second, about two seconds behind Wisconsin, in 5:55.399. The freshman four placed third in a field of five varsity and freshman fours, posting a time of 7:05.338.
Varsity eight grand final: from water | from bridge above finish
Second varsity grand final: from water | from bridge
Freshman eight grand final: from water | from bridge
Other finals from bridge: third varsity eight | fourth varsity eight | freshman four
Boston University 18
George Washington 0
Holy Cross 0
Boston University 5:48.750
Second Varsity Eight
Boston University 6:06.346
George Washington 6:21.406
Third Varsity Eight
Fourth Varsity Eight
George Washington 6:26.597
Boston University 6:06.017
Holy Cross 7:42.303