Unbeaten Harvard Heavyweights Look to Add Eastern Titles at Sprints
Two-time defending team and varsity champion Harvard seeks another championship showing at the 2012 Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges Sprints Championships Sunday on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass.
The Season So Far
The Crimson began this season, its 50th with Harry Parker as head coach, by winning the championship eight race at the Head of the Charles Regatta for the first time in 34 years. The varsity then started the spring by coming from behind to top California and take the Copley Cup at the San Diego Crew Classic, while the second varsity eight placed second to Cal. That success continued into a dual season that has been perfect for the varsity so far, including a narrow defeat of Brown for the Stein Cup and a convincing win against Princeton and MIT for the Compton Cup.
Records and Rankings
Harvard owns the top-seeded varsity eight (7-0), second varsity eight (6‑0) and freshman eight (7-0) and third varsity eight (5-0) in the East. The third varsity eight (5-1) and second freshman eight (3-1) are seeded second. The fourth varsity is 1-0 in fourth-varsity competition.
The Harvard heavyweight varsity eight has defeated its last 20 and 35 of its last 36 dual opponents, with the lone loss coming in 2010 at Brown. The Crimson has defeated its last 21 and 43 of its last 44 dual opponents when racing at home on the Charles River. Harvard's last home loss was April 15, 2006 against Princeton. The Harvard freshman eight has defeated 42 straight dual opponents.
Fourth Varsity Eight
Cox: Brittanie Maxwell, 8: Mihailo Malowany, 7: William Polachek, 6: Eli Shikaloff, 5: Andrew Crown, 4: Nick Jaroszewicz, 3: Daniel Ranard, 2: Patrick Galvin, 1: Edward Winters Ronaldson
The Varsity Eight
The Harvard heavyweight varsity eight is made up of four oarsmen from last year's Eastern-champion varsity (Michael DiSanto, Josh Hicks (Waterford, Australia), Patrick Lapage (Shrewsbury, England), James O'Connor (Christchurch, New Zealand)); two sophomores from the 2011 Sprints‑winning freshman boat (Andrew Holmes (Lochwinnoch, Scotland), Caspar Jopling (London, England)); Sam O'Connor (Christchurch, New Zealand), who missed the 2011 spring with an injury after rowing in the winning varsity boat in 2010, and Parker Washburn (Andover, Mass.) and coxswain David Fuller (Chestnut Hill, Mass.), who won second varsity gold last season. The nine athletes have totaled 15 Sprints golds. Seven of them took part in the Head of the Charles win in October.
Harvard's Major Heavyweight Sprints Championships
Varsity eight: 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, '11.
Second varsity eight: 1947, '49, '64, '65, '66, '69, '72, '73, '74, '75, '78, '85, '86, '90, '93, 2002, '03, '04, '05, '06, '11.
Freshman eight: 1949, '50, '55, '58, '63, '65, '67, '72, '76, '80, '83, '84, '85, '86, '90, '99, 2001, '02, '04, '08, '10, '11.
Rowe Cup: 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, '11.
On a Roll
Harvard has won the Eastern varsity title in six of the last nine years and is seeking to win back-to-back Sprints crowns for the 17th time and three straight titles for the 11th time. The Crimson last won three in a row in the IRA-title years of 2003, '04 and '05. Yale, which has won six outright Sprints titles and shared one, ranks second in championships won, behind Harvard's 27. Princeton's seven Rowe Cup titles rank second to Harvard's 31.
More Heavyweight History
Harvard has swept the three major heavyweight divisions at Eastern Sprints six times (1945, '65, '85, '90, 2004, '11). 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 62 of the 66 years racing at Sprints. Harvard has won five of the six major events six times.
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 three events and a combined 38-7 dual-racing mark.
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 141 titles, including 52 at the varsity level (27 heavyweight, 25 lightweight).
Last Season at Sprints
The Harvard heavyweights won four grand finals and swept the Rowe Cup events to claim their 27th Eastern and Ivy titles and 31st Rowe Cup team win while sweeping the varsity eight, second varsity eight and freshman eight events for the sixth time in program history.
Quest for the Cup
Harvard's team victory last season brought the Rowe Cup to Newell Boathouse for a league‑high 31st time. Seven of those wins have come in the last decade.
On 13 occasions, including last year, 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, 2005 and '11.
Only 11 times in the 66-year history of Sprints and six times since 1957 has Harvard failed to win at least one major grand final. In one of those seasons (1981), the Crimson did not compete due to 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 Ivy title. The Harvard heavyweights have earned 27 Ancient Eight crowns since 1957, while the lightweights have won 24.