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Harvard Crew Teams Turn in Strong Performances

Spring has finally sprung for Harvard and Radcliffe heavyweight and lightweight teams, which, for the first time of the spring season, were able to row in good weather over the weekend.

Men’s Heavyweight

The No. 5 Harvard men’s heavyweight team was in action at its spring season debut on the Charles. The Crimson faced off against MIT and No. 3 Princeton for the Compton Cup. The Crimson split this weekend, falling to the Tigers but downing the Engineers.

Princeton, which had won the cup last year, had a quick start and had a half-boat length lead after the first 250 meters of the race. By the halfway mark by the bridge, the Tigers held an open water lead, and it seemed that crew would go on to coast to a win.

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Harvard’s V8 boat was not to be counted out, though. The crew redoubled its efforts to come within four seats of Princeton, but did not have enough time to overtake the Tigers and finished 1.7 seconds behind at 5:43.4.

While it is Princeton’s second consecutive year taking home the Compton Cup, Harvard still leads the all-time series with 62 wins, including 11 of the last 14 seasons.

The second varsity boat was the only one with a first place finish on the day. In this race, though, it was Harvard that jumped out to an early start, though its lead was smaller. Halfway through the race, the Crimson began to pull away, but the Tigers were always hot on its heels. With 750 left in the race, Princeton made a move to overtake the Harvard boat, but its Ivy rivals managed to hold onto its lead. Harvard went on to stop the clock at 5:44.7, Princeton at 5:47.9, and MIT at 6:24.3.

In the 4V race, though the Crimson had an early lead, the Tigers overtook it in the second half of the course to win by two seconds. Princeton also won the 3V race by nine seconds.

Men’s Lightweight

The No. 5 Harvard men’s lightweight team continued its win streak against No. 9 Dartmouth and No. 12 MIT over the weekend. The Crimson beat out its Ivy League and cross-town rivals to take the Biglin Bowl.

Harvard swept both opponents on the Connecticut River in Hanover, N.H. The varsity eight boat, coxed by junior Charlie Zhang and stroked by sophomore Andre Dupuis, had another close finish. Last year, the crew finished just ahead of MIT, and this year, it narrowly beat out Dartmouth by 1.7 seconds.

“I thought our boat had a good race - it felt like we were in control from the very first stroke. Dartmouth stuck with us and kept pushing us,” co-captain Ian Klein said. “I think we could have done a better job of stopping their momentum earlier, but they proved to be a pretty resilient crew.”

It was a tight race between the Crimson and the Big Green throughout the entire course, with the Crimson finishing at 5:38.3 and the Big Green at 5:40.0. MIT rounded out the race with a time of 5:49.1. With this win, Harvard marks its eighth straight year bringing home the Bowl, and 53rd time overall.

The second varsity boat took advantage of the light tail wind and current to beat out Dartmouth by open water. The squad finished at 5:41.9, with Dartmouth coming in 13 seconds later, and MIT 7 seconds after it.

Both third and fourth varsity crews bested the Big Green by open water in the 3V race, while the fifth varsity four A and B boats also finished by open water ahead of the Engineers.

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