Washington-Lee coxswain Ruth Yamamoto somehow managed to dodge raindrops for most of today's first Occoquan Sprints.But when she finally joined the ranks of the drenched competitors and spectators, she did so under only the happiest of circumstances.
The diminutive Yamamoto was tossed into the Occoquan Reservoir by celebrating members of the Generals' boys' varsity eight from Arlington after they scored a decisive triumph over top-notch competition from T.C. Williams of Alexandria, Father Judge of Philadelphia and Upper Merion, Pa.
"I stayed dry and it stopped raining just before our race," said a shivering Yamamoto, "but they tossed me in and now I'm freezing."
Fort Hunt had the best start in the race, but never was heard from again as the Generals forged into an early lead which was never seriously endangered. With W-L, rowing a steady 34 strokes per minute, nearly a length ahead for most of the 1,500 meters, the real battle was for second place. Upper Merion used a late surge to overtake third-place Williams and Judge.
The Generals jumped to an early length lead and won the boys' lightweight eights race going away, but T.C. Williams was the story on the girls' side, winning all six races.
In the varsity race, undefeated Williams jumped off quickly to a half-length lead. W-L narrowed the advantage briefly but by the midpoint the Titans were a length ahead, a lead they lengthened to three lengths by the finish.
"We just get out there and work for it; everybody works together," Titan No. 3 oarswoman Nora Nichols said. "But we still have a lot of work to do. nOur keel (balance) is not the greatest."
On the Schuylkill in Philadelphia, Georgetown University notched victories in the lightweight and junior varsity eights events, but its fifth-place finish in the heavyweight varsiy event relegated the Hoyas to second place in the Kerr Cup point totals.
Host Drexel won with 34 points, edging Georgetown with 32. George Washington was last in the six-team field with 14 points.
Georgetown needed to beat Drexel in the varsity race and was among five boats battling for the lead with 300 meters left on the 2,000-meter course, but as the field spread, Ithaca, N.Y., edged Drexel by a half-length with the Hoyas fading to fifth.
Georgetown's women came up empty in three races on the Raritan River in New Brunswick, N.J. The Hoya varsity eight stayed even with Rutgers for most of their 1,500-meter race before the Scarlet Knights sprinted to overtake Syracuse for the win by one-fifth of a second in 5:20. Georgetown clocked 5:23.7.
Georgetown was third behind Syracuse and Rutgers in the junior varsity eights and second behind Syracuse in the novice eights.
On Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, N.Y., Navy's undefeated varsity won its fourth straight, jumping out and rowing most of the 2,000-meter Goes Trophy race in open water, timing 6:12. Syracuse clocked 6:25 and Cornell 6:28.
The Mids' junior varsity lost for the first time, but Navy won the freshman eights and coxed fours.
On the Charles River, Harvard won the Haines Cup, dealing Navy two-length losses in both varsity and junior varsity lightweight eights races.