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Harvard Highlights Ivy League Showing at Henley

Harvard Highlights Ivy League Showing at Henley

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Portions courtesy of Brown Sports Information, Dartmouth Varsity Athletics Communications, Harvard Athletic Communications and Yale Sports Publicity

HENLEY-ON-THAMES, England -- The Ivy League once again put up a strong showing at the Royal Henly Regatta on the Thames River as Harvard's men's heavyweight varsity eight came from behind to defeat Leander Club by just a foot for the 2012 Ladies' Challenge Plate title.

The Crimson won its eighth Ladies' Plate overall, its second in three years and its third in its last four appearances in the event. Harvard departed Henley with a trophy for the third straight year and having seen each of its five entries win at least two races. The victory put a winning finish on the 50th season at the helm for Harry Parker, the Thomas Bolles Head Coach for Harvard Men's Crew.

Leander led by nearly a boat length in the race's first mile, was ahead at both the Barrier and Fawley splits and owned a three-seat edge with barely 50 meters left. The British crew, however, had no answer for Harvard's ferocious sprint. Most of the standing spectators in the grandstand could not tell who won the race until seeing the Crimson oarsmen celebrating. Harvard's winning time was 6:33, the fastest mark in any event in this year's regatta.

In the blue ribbon Grand Challenge Cup (8+) Championship race, Brown fell to the California Rowing Club, made up of oarsmen who just missed out on Olympic selection, by a length and a quarter in the final. One of those oarsmen was Yale's Derek Johnson, the Bulldogs' captain for the 2010-11 season. Johnson was the three-seat of the first U.S. crew to win the Grand Challenge Cup since 1995.

Current Eli Owen Symington, a rising junior, won the Stewards' Challenge Cup as bow seat of an Australian coxless four that will be competing at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships.

Former Harvard heavyweight coxswain Chris Kingston was also a winner at Henley, steering his Star Club four to the Britannia Challenge Cup. That win to start the morning of racing was almost as close as the Crimson's later. Star Club edged the Taurus Boat Club by three feet in 7:44.

Brown also competed in Temple Challenge Cup (8+), which began with 68 entries, falling to the University of Washington by three lengths in the final. The Bears started the event with a victory by two and a half lengths over Dartmouth's lightweight crew in first round of knockout racing. The Big Green, which had reached the quarterfinals in each of its last two outings, was making its third appearance at the Royal Henley Regatta since the 2003 season.

Brown also competed in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup (4+), defeating Michigan by nearly five lengths in the first round, before being eliminated by the University of London "A" boat.

Earlier in the competition, three other Harvard/Radcliffe boats reached the semifinals of their Henley events -- the men's lightweight varsity eight in the Temple Challenge Cup, the women's heavyweight varsity eight in the Remenham Challenge Cup and the men's heavyweight four in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup. Harvard's men's heavyweight freshman eight made the Temple quarterfinals and lightweight sophomore Andrew Campbell advanced to the semis of the Diamond Challenge Sculls.