The men’s crew team fell short in the 57th Stein Cup against Harvard Saturday morning.
Of the five contests held at the regatta on the Charles River, Bruno took the second and fifth varsity races, posting times of 6:06.3 and 6:26.3, respectively.
“I thought all the races were good, close contests. The two squads were pretty evenly matched,” said Head Coach Paul Cooke ’89. “It was exciting to get the victories in those two races. I think those two crews did a great job, but we thought everybody raced really hard.”
“I feel that the team performed well over the weekend. We had a very difficult block of training leading into the race, so we didn’t come in with fresh legs,” wrote coxswain Jack DiGiovanni ’24 in an email to The Herald. “Despite this, the team stepped up, and closed gaps from last year’s race against Harvard. To see the 5V win was really exciting, and shows that we have depth in the squad.”
Two of Harvard's three victories were decided by margins under two seconds, with Brown finishing 1.9 seconds behind the Crimson in the Stein Cup and 1.4 seconds too late in the Third Varsity race.
Cooke noted Brown wasn’t able to match speeds with Harvard in the middle of the race.
"In such close races, it was easy to see slight differences in speed and to notice key moments, which will be very helpful going forward,” Cooke said in a statement to Brown Athletics. “These early season contests are critical in the development of the team."
The Crimson have now taken three-straight Stein Cup victories, with wins in 2019 and 2022.
Last year, Harvard beat Brown by a margin of 4.3 seconds amid windy conditions in Providence to win the first Stein Cup race since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Herald previously reported.
“It’s a big rivalry. Every year, the team is pretty motivated to get that victory, but they don’t come that easily,” Cooke said. "(It’s) historically our toughest contest to win.”
“We are motivated to win every season,” DiGiovanni wrote. “The goals will be the same next year. Everyone on our team understands the objectives, and we are focused on the daily process and doing what is necessary to reach them.”
The Stein Cup was the Bears’ third regatta of the spring season. On March 25, Brown opened their schedule by taking four of five races against Boston University, including the Michalson Cup, in which they finished with a time of 5:46.6. On April 1, Brown won just the second varsity race in a series of five contests against Yale and the University of Washington.
The Bears’ next matchup will include the Dreissigacker Cup Saturday at 4 p.m. against Northeastern University. The competition will be the Bears’ only home regatta on the Seekonk River this season.
“We think we have a really good group top to bottom,” Cooke said of this year’s squad. “We’re in the mix with a lot of teams that are really fast right now, and we just have to keep focusing on what we can do to make ourselves a little better every day.”
“Our program tends to peak at the very end of the season. This is something that our team is known for within the league,” DiGiovanni wrote. “We have excellent athletes, resources and an incredible team culture. I expect the team to perform at a championship level in June at the IRA National Championships.”