CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Rowing into a fierce headwind, the Harvard heavyweight varsity eight outlasted Northeastern to win the Smith Cup and cap a five-race sweep for the Crimson Saturday morning on the Charles River.
The Crimson (7-0) will carry an unblemished record into the championship portion of its season for the second straight year after winning by 3.4 seconds to extend its streak of dual wins to 20 and its run of consecutive Smith Cup victories to 15. The second varsity posted the most lopsided eights win Saturday, finishing 15.1 seconds before Northeastern, after the freshman eight pulled away over the second half of its race to win by six seconds.
"The crews all raced well in very challenging conditions," said Harry Parker, the Thomas Bolles Head Coach for Harvard Men's Crew. "It was good, hard racing, and the Northeastern varsity gave us quite a challenge. I thought our freshmen rowed particularly well."
In the varsity race, Harvard established a lead in the first 250 meters and stretched the margin to six seats through 500. Much of the final 1,500 meters was spent with the Huskies pushing forward and the Crimson countering. Harvard led by eight seats with 1,000 meters left and again with 500 to go. Northeastern kept contact but could not get close enough to threaten Harvard at the end. The Crimson won in 6:21.2.
Both the Crimson second varsity and freshman eights remained unbeaten as well. The second varsity distanced itself quickly and won in 6:26.2. The Harvard and NU freshman crews raced neck-and-neck over the first half of the course, but the Crimson proved too strong in the second 1,000 meters, posting a time of 6:36.4.
The morning began with the Harvard third and fourth varsity eights taking on the Boston University third varsity. The Crimson third varsity won handily in 6:36.1, while the fourth varsity engaged in a tight battle with the Terriers and hung on to finish 2.1 seconds ahead of BU.
Harvard's second freshmen raced as two fours. The A four defeated the Huskies by 22.8 seconds.
Second Varsity Eight
Third/Fourth Varsity Eights
Harvard 3V 6:36.1
Harvard 4V 6:46.9
Boston University 6:49.0
Harvard A 7:34.1
Harvard B 8:07.6