April 13, 2002
Harvard was ranked No. 1 in the East and third nationally by a leading rowing magazine last month. In its opener last week, the Crimson had beaten Penn by nine seconds and Navy by 15, in Philadelphia.
Harvard has great depth in its varsity program this year, as showed by its second varsity, which almost matched the Brown varsity's time. "The second-varsity race was disappointing by I thought the varsity fought hard," Brown varsity coach Paul Cooke said. "They didn't give up. They rowed hard all the way down the course. I was happy about that."
The Brown varsity took a one-seat lead off the start. Harvard started to move when the two crews came down off their racing starts, but the Bears made Harvard work hard for their gains - Harvard rowed 35 1/2 to 36 strokes a minute in the body of the race, about the same as Brown was rowing. Brown was overlapped with Harvard until 700 meters from the finish.
"We lost to them by 4 1/2 seconds last year and we had a lot of really good oarsmen, strong guys who are missing," said Cooke, a reference to the four who graduated and Dave Simon, who would have been a senior this year. Simon, who had the highest collegiate ergometer score two years in a row, gave up sweep rowing after competing in the Olympics last year because of a back injury.
"I thought the Brown varsity was good," Harvard's Harry Parker said. "They rowed a strong race. I was pleased we were able to beat them,." "I think we have a lot of growth in this group. I'm excited about it," said Cooke. "I don't want to be happy if I'm losing. They rowed a good, hard race but we have to find a way to win, no question about it."
Senior Tom DePre, in the Brown second varsity thought the Harvard second varsity had rowed more cleanly than his crew. "We were kind of slopping around," he said. Freshman coach Matt Carlson, whose crew lost to Harvard by five seconds, called his crew's performance "okay, but not great.
All the Brown crews, especially the varsity, will have their work cut out for them next Saturday when they race Northeastern on the Charles River at Cambridge. Northeastern has six men from last year's strong varsity returning and the two open slots have been filled by a pair of 6-5, 200-pound oarsmen with international experience, one from Croatia, the other from Yugoslavia.
Third varsity: Harvard, 6:25.1, Brown, 6:30.1.
First freshmen: Harvard, 6:20.9, Brown, 6:25.8.
Second varsity: Harvard, 6:05.57, Brown, 6:17.64.
Varsity: Harvard, 5:57.1, Brown, 6:01.6.
Second freshmen fourth varsity fours: Harvard A, 7:06.8, Harvard B, 7:11.9, Brown, 7:13.8