Oriel eight aiming for double figuresBy Mike Rosewell
Oriel will be attempting to win their 10th headship in 12 years when the Oxford summer eights begin today. Oriel, deposed by Christ Church in 1985 and New College in 1986, have not been seriously threatened since then, but their 1990 crew is not as impressive as some of its forebears.
New College and University College, starting second and third, have not revealed great form, but fourth-placed Christ Church, with three former Isis oarsmen and Oxford president, Jonathan Searle, on board have been producing some impressive times in training and performed well at Wallingford regatta. St John's, starting sixth behind St Edmund Hall, could also progress.
There is also likely to be some movement in the women's first division. Osler lead off, but they were soundly beaten by an impressive Somerville crew at Wallingford. Somerville start third, with Wadham ahead of them on the first day.
University finally pull up to secondBy a Correspondent
University took their time but eventually toppled New College from second place behind Oriel in the Oxford Summer Eights which opened yesterday.
In fourth place and well out of contact with Oriel came Christ Church who showed their eagerness with a training outing after lunch between papers in the final examinations of President Johnny Searle.
Somerville swiftly deposed Wadham from second position in the women's division.
Oriel lose advantageUniversity College went head of the Oxford summer eights yesterday, forcing Oriel ignominiously to concede the bump in front of their own boathouse (a Special Correspondent writes).
Christ Church caught New College, moving up into third place and threatening further ascent before the week is out.
University remain in pole positionUniversity and Somerville enjoyed a day's supremacy as head of the men's and women's divisions in the Oxford summer eights yesterday (a Special Correspondent writes).
Below them, the forces established their positions for a final challenge today. Christ Church rowed alongside Oriel past the boathouses and bumped their way into second position at the entrance of the Cherwell.
University return to topBy a Special Correspondent
University and Somerville finished the Oxford Summer Eights well clear of their pursuers, confirming their undeniable pre-eminence in the men's and women's divisions respectively.
For Somerville this is a return to the supremacy they relinquished only in 1988, but University were last Head of the River in 1914, and this year's two-place rise crowns the strenuous progress made since 1982 when the college languished in the second division.
Jesus moved up five places to their highest position in 15 years and L.M.H.'s similar ascent lifted the Hall first men's boat into the second division. Such a status will take St Hugh's several years to achieve but they made a healthy inroad on the task with their nine-place rise.
University move top after 76 yearsAfter a wait of 76 years, University College finished top of the Oxford Summer Eights. In the women's division, Somerville regained the headship they had lost in 1988.
Jesus had their best result in 15 years, moving up five places into the men's first division. L.M.H. made similar progress into the second but St Hugh's ascent was most spectacular. After a nine-place rise they finished in a comfortable sixth position in the seventh division.
There was great anticipation at the prospect of this year's racing due to the widely held belief that both the men's and women's head crews were weaker than their immediate rivals. Oriel had none of the squad oarsmen so prevalent in recent years whilst University boasted one Blue and two Isis oarsmen and Christ Church one Blue and three Isis. Similarly in the women's first division Osler, head in 1989, lacked the wealth of University rowers that Somerville threatened them with.
The first day's rowing saw Oriel unchallenged by New and left to row over head as University caught the same at the bottom of the Green Bank. This left Christ Church, St John's and Teddy Hall to row over behind them, St John's pushing Hall all the way to the finish.
In the women's first division Osler rowed over as Somerville removed Wadham from second on the river.
Thursday brought both head crews into direct conflict with their strongest rivals. Oriel held their own through the Gut but were rowed down and bumped by University halfway up the boathouses. Osler succumbed to Somerville in an almost identical fashion.
On Friday it remained to be seen whether the deposed crews could mount a realistic challenge to the new head crews. Oriel closed to within half a length of University entering the Gut but could not maintain this pace onto the Green Bank, falling to Christ Church at the top of the boathouses. Osler too conceded a bump to Pembroke who moved up to challenge for the headship on the final day's racing.
Elsewhere in the divisions Jesus broke into the first division with their third bump, whilst St John's in bumping Teddy Hall, and Oriel II in bumping Lincoln overpowered crews whom they had unsuccessfully chased on the previous two days.
On the final day's racing both University and Somerville fended off with some ease the challenges of Christ Church and Pembroke respectively to row over head of the river. Both Jesus and L.M.H. gained blades in the men's divisions whilst there was a dearth of bladewinners amongst the women's crews.
|B:||D. G. Pitard||Washington and Lee Univ.|
|2:||M. H. Eddowes||Tunbridge|
|3:||R. W. Leland||Michigan State Univ.|
|4:||N. J. Screaton||Trinity, Cambridge|
|5:||R. W. Martin||Durham Johnston S|
|6:||D. G. Miller III||State Univ, N.Y.|
|7:||J. D. Annan||Edinburgh Academy|
|S:||D. F. Johnson IX||California State Univ.|
|C:||M. A. Ross||Bucks Coll. of HE|
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