The Harvard heavyweight crew scored a three-for-one this past Sunday (May 13) at the 62nd annual Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges (EARC) Sprints. In capturing three gold and a pair of silver medals, Harvard seized the Rowe Cup (given for the best-overall team), reclaimed the Worcester Bowl (given to the winner of the varsity eight event), and won the Ivy League title. Now, all that’s remaining for the Crimson rowers, whose varsity eight contingent remains undefeated on the season, is the big one — the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships May 30-June 2 in Camden, N.J.
Then and there the men’s heavies will look to win their 10th national title up against the top programs from both coasts and the Midwest, including such powerhouses as Wisconsin, which placed second overall at the EARC Sprints. The Crimson last captured the championship in 2005 to close out a three-year streak as best in the country.
Sunday’s sprints on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass., began auspiciously for Harvard, as all five Crimson boats took first place in the morning heats. Save the second varsity and freshman eight, the Crimson rowers went on to duplicate their first-place showings in afternoon competition. And emphatically so, particularly the varsity eight, which edged Yale by two seconds to set a new course record of 5:27 — 13 seconds ahead of the team’s morning run. The second varsity eight, meanwhile, enjoyed a bit more breathing room against runner-up Georgetown, finishing five seconds ahead of the Hoya squad in a time of 5:44.28. Harvard’s third gold medal came courtesy of the second freshman eight, who beat BU, 5:53.83 to 5:55.18, in the field of six teams.
Harvard earned its first silver of the day when Wisconsin took a thriller of a race in the second varsity event, crossing the finish at 5:36.21 to better the Crimson by a single second. The freshman eight, meanwhile, suffered its first defeat of the season placing two seconds behind Brown, which rowed to the finish in 5:39.
Harvard’s three gold medals, however, were enough to wrap up the Rowe Cup for the second-straight year (and fifth time since 2002). As an added bonus, all nine members of Harvard’s varsity eight have recently earned first-team All-Ivy League honors. They are cox Jessica Hoy ’07; strokesmen (from stroke to bow) George Kitovitz ’08, Matt McLane ’07, Toby Medaris ’07, Andrew Boston ’07, Henrik Rummel ’09, Joe Medioli ’08, Simon Gawlik ’09; and bowman Simon Kotzeff ’07.