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Harvard dominates Eastern Sprints

WORCESTER, Mass. -- Defending champion Harvard won the Rowe Cup in the 65th annual Eastern Sprints on Sunday, the 31st time under coach Harry Parker the Crimson have captured the heavyweight portion of the regatta held by the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges.

The Crimson also captured the Jope Cup for the lightweight team title for the 21st time under coach Charley Butt, and took the varsity heavyweight race for the 27th time under Parker, who is in his 49th year as coach.

Harvard entered the Sprints with five of its six crews in the events that determine the team championship undefeated in dual meets this spring, and all five won Sunday. Only the freshman lightweight crew didn't make the final, which Yale won over Columbia.

"All of our crews rowed to their full potential, and that's something that doesn't always happen," Parker said. "We just have some really good people. And we have an outstanding group of freshmen coming along, too."

In the varsity heavyweight final, Harvard finished in 5 minutes, 40.388 seconds, the fastest time of the day over the 2,000-meter course on Lake Quinsigamond. Princeton was 2 seconds behind, just nipping Wisconsin.

The Crimson boat has a strong international flavor, with four Englishmen, including captain Anthony Locke, two Australians and one New Zealander. One of the two Americans, Nick Jordan of Princeton, N.J., also studied at Eton College in England. Five members of the team, including Locke, were in last year's championship boat.

There were several downpours in the morning and early afternoon Sunday, but later in the afternoon the showers eased and the calm waters and cool temperatures created what Parker said were "ideal" conditions.

Harvard also won the second varsity heavyweight race, pulling away from Wisconsin in the final 500 meters in 5:49.013.

"With the depth we have, we have some very competitive practices," Parker said.

The Harvard lightweight varsity had to work hard to turn back second-place Dartmouth and Yale, with a time of 5:45.358 -- about 1.5 seconds ahead of both crews.

The Crimson's second varsity lightweight boat turned back Princeton and Cornell.

Harvard's undefeated freshman heavyweights romped, beating Princeton by 6 seconds in 5:54.521.

"Our plan was to attack until they cracked," Harvard Freshman coach Bill Manning said. "We set a pace the others couldn't handle."

The top nine finishers in the heavyweight varsity race and the top seven in the lightweight varsity race qualified for the 10th IRA National Championships in Camden, N.J., on June 2-4.