WORCESTER, Mass. – The Brown men's crew claimed victories in both the Second and Third Varsity events, but Harvard captured the Varsity Eight to win the tiebreaker in total points and retain the Rowe Cup as the Bears placed second at the EARC Sprints Sunday on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass.
The EARC Sprints, made up of the top rowing schools in the East, also serves as the Ivy League Championship. With the win in the Varsity Eight, Harvard regained the Marc Bergschneider Ivy League Heavyweight Trophy after Brown upset the Crimson at last year's Sprints. Brown and Harvard have each won three V8 Ivy League titles in the last six years.
Brown also finished second in the Freshman Eight and ended up tied with Harvard at 38 points apiece in the team standings, but Harvard's victory in the Varsity Eight broke the tiebreaker for the Rowe Cup, awarded annually to the school with the highest number of total points.
"I thought it was a really strong team performance," said head coach Paul Cooke. "All year long we wanted to fight for the Rowe Cup. We ended up tying for it and just lost in the tiebreaker, and for the JV and 3V to win those races without having freshmen mixed in was a real accomplishment. I feel like the team as a whole is getting stronger and hopefully we can build on those successes."
In the third varsity event, Wisconsin stormed out to an early lead and held a lead for the first 1,200 meters, while Brown held position near the middle of the pack at a consistent pace. From there, Boston University took second, passing Navy to put pressure on Wisconsin at the front of the pack. At the same time, Brown moved past Princeton and started to pick up the pace. At the final 500 meters, BU was out in front with Brown charging, before the Bears eventually claimed the lead at 200 meters and held on for the victory at 6:23.95. The Terriers followed in second at 6:25.33.
Brown wasted no time in the Freshman Eight, jumping out to an immediate lead over the field and a two-seat advantage over second-place Wisconsin. The Bears kept up the pace and held a six-seat lead over Wisconsin at the 500-meter mark. After Harvard took over second place at 750 meters, Brown held position for a seven-seat lead over the Crimson at the midway point. From there, it was all Brown and Harvard as the two Ivy rivals were stroke-for-stroke at 1,500 meters, before the Crimson pulled out in front and held on for the victory at 6:12.38. Brown crossed second in a time of 6:14.87.
In the Second Varsity, Princeton opened with an early four-seat lead over Brown, before increasing to about five seats at 500 meters. Brown then answered back at around 1,000 meters, pulling within three seats of the Tigers and holding a steady pace. The Bears maintained their pace and eventually pulled dead even with Princeton at just over 1,500 meters, setting the stage for an impressive final stretch as Bruno cruised to the three-second victory at 6:06.76.
Harvard opened with an early lead in the Varsity Eight and led wire-to-wire throughout the event. The Crimson held a four-seat edge over Northeastern, with Brown right behind the Huskies at about one seat. Harvard increased its lead to nearly a full length over Northeastern at the midway point, while Brown made its move and eventually pulled into second place with three seats over Northeastern. The Crimson held an open water lead over the final 600 meters to claim the victory at 5:56.72, but the Bears also held off Northeastern down the stretch to take second at 6:01.92.
The Bears return to action on May 31 – June 2 for the IRA Regatta in Sacramento, Calif.