WORCESTER, Mass.—The Harvard lightweight crew's top boats added Eastern championships to go with their perfect records Sunday, as the Crimson won varsity, second varsity and team championships at the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges Sprints Championships Sunday on Lake Quinsigamond.
The Crimson won its 25th Eastern varsity title, 24th Ivy League championship and 27th EARC second varsity crown. Each championship was Harvard's first of its kind since 2005, while Harvard's Jope Cup team title was its second in three years, fourth in eight and 21st overall.
All of it was part of an outstanding all-around day for Harvard oarsmen. The Crimson heavyweights also captured a varsity title, marking the 13th time Harvard has won gold in both varsity eight races. Only four other schools have accomplished that feat, once each. The heavyweight second varsity eight and freshman eight also captured EARC titles to take the Rowe Cup team title and give Harvard wins in five of the six scoring races at Sprints.
Like last season, the lightweight varsity entered with a perfect dual record and faced stiff competition in the Sprints grand final. This time, Harvard remained unbeaten, improving on its 2010 performance by one position. Both Dartmouth and Yale held leads in the neck-and-neck first half of the race, with defending-champion Princeton also among the leaders. The Crimson surged to catch the Bulldogs near the 1,000 mark. Yale answered, but Harvard moved back through and won by 1.5 seconds in 5:45.358. Dartmouth also caught Yale for second, edging the Bulldogs by one-tenth of a second.
"It was exciting, and that's the way it's been all year. It's been tough, but a tribute to these guys is that they're very steady," said head coach Charley Butt. "The top varsity boats came through, and that's what garnered us the team victory. That's very sweet for everybody."
First-team All-Ivy League designation goes to the members of the varsity eight: coxswain Angela Chang and rowers Matt O'Leary, Austin Meyer, Will Newell, Erich Schultze, Tim Moore, Andrew Trott, Jared Dourdeville and Tom Nesel.
The second varsity grand final was also tightly packed early on, with the Crimson finding its way into the lead around the start of the second 500 meters. The margin grew quickly, and Harvard owned an eight-seat advantage by the race's midway point. The Crimson went on to finish in 6:00.634, while runner-up Princeton crossed the line in 6:03.401. Cornell placed third.
The Crimson freshman eight rowed well but was the victim of a tough seed. The Crimson's opening time of 6:17.479 was the fifth-fastest in the heats but only the fourth-fastest in its heat, landing the boat in the petite final. Harvard won that race handily in 6:13.531. That mark was faster than the bronze-medal time in the grand final, which was won by Yale.
Harvard's third varsity made a late sprint past Cornell to claim third place in its race. The Crimson's time of 6:12.631 was less than three-hundredths of a second faster than that of the Big Red. The second freshman eight finished fourth in 6:27.773.
Varsity eight grand final: from water | from bridge above finish
Second varsity grand final: from water | from bridge
Other finals from bridge: freshman eight petite | third varsity eight | second freshman eight
Second Varsity Eight
Third Varsity Eight
Second Freshman Eight