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Ivy Rowing
College athletics began on the water as Yale and Harvard first met in 1853. And the Ivy League crews -- men's and women's, lightweight and heavyweight -- have remained major players in the rowing world ever since.

1956 As the Ivy League begins formal competition, the Yale heavyweight men's team wins a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.

1956 The Princeton lights win at Henley, defeating Thames Rowing Club, Lensbury Rowing Center, Isis Boat Club (the Oxford University Blue Boat) and a crew representing the Royal Air Force in the process.

1957 The Cornell men's heavyweight team wins the first Ivy League title at the Eastern Sprints, simultaneously taking the prestigious Rowe Cup They would repeat this feat in 1960 and 1963.

1957 Harry Parker rows for Penn. Parker, who was in the 1960 Olympics, is the legendary (and current) Harvard coach and would coach 51 future Olympians.

1958 The Harvard men's lightweight crew begins an undefeated streak that would see them go undefeated for three seasons and win the prestigious Thames Challenge Cup at Henley three times.

1958 The Yale heavyweight men's team wins the Eastern Sprint. They would repeat in 1962, 1978, and 1982.

1959 The Harvard heavyweight men's team wins the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley. They would repeat in 1985.

1961 After the twelve year old informal Brown men's crew (rowing at Brown dates back to 1857) racks up a 5-1 record, a fifth place in the Eastern Sprints at Worcester and a seventh in the IRA, rowing is recognized as an intercollegiate sport supported by the University.

1962 The Penn and Yale heavyweights share the Ivy title in the only Eastern Sprints Varsity Eight Grand Final deadheat in history, both teams finishing at 6:09.3.

1962 The Cornell men's lightweight team wins the first of three straight Ivy titles at the Eastern Sprints. While the Big Red heavyweights appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated in June.

1963 Dick Dreissigacker begins rowing for Brown. Dreissigacker would go on to row in the 1972 Olympics. In 1977 he and his brother Pete, would introduce the carbon composite oar to rowing, where it is now used exclusively.

1964 Columbia wins its first Eastern Sprints title, the men's lightweight novice eight.

1966 The first Brown crew to row in the Henley Royal Regatta loses to a strong British crew, the London Tideway Scullers, and is removed from competition after its first race.

1968 The Harvard heavyweight team rows in the Olympics, the last non-national team to do so.

1971 The Harvard men's lightweight crew wins the Thames Challenge Cup at Henley, the last American college team to do so.

1971 Radcliffe Crew is organized. In 1973 Radcliffe wins the National Championship and represents the United States in the Eastern European Championships in Moscow.

1971 Princeton women's rowing is organized by Amy Richlin, who recruited by handing out flyers at class registration saying "Come try crew. If you like to do things the easy way, you wouldn't have come to Princeton." Coached by volunteer Pete Raymond, the original team included Carol Brown, who would go on to medal in rowing at the 1976 Olympics.

1971 John Mulligan was part of an amazing turnaround at Columbia. In a recent Columbia College Today feature, he wrote "This stoic, sometimes distant figure was a first-time coach, a world-class oarsman, a Marine grievously wounded in Vietnam. From a ragtag collection of practiced losers, he forged a superior Columbia racing crew and led it to England’s venerable Henley Royal Regatta in 1971. Along the way, John Abele gave us something richer than rowing honors."

1972 Women's crew begins at Yale.

1972 The Penn women's team is organized. During the course of the year the team dwindled to two rowers and coach Joanne Wright Iverson brought in women from the Philadelphia Girls' Rowing Club, many of whom were not Penn students. Laura Staines Giardino, a member of Penn's first women's crew, would go on to row in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

1972 The Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges (EAWRC) holds its first regatta. Charter members Barnard, Princeton and Radcliffe participate. Princeton wins the inaugural race, while Radcliffe finishes second.

1974 The Harvard Department of Athletics assumes complete administration of women's athletics on campus, with only the rowing team retaining the Radcliffe name by a vote of the team members. That team claims the first official Ivy League championship in a women's sport, winning the EAWRC Regatta in Middletown, Conn.

1974 The Brown women's crew team begins competition. Twenty-two women participate, and in their only meet beat Assumption College, Holy Cross, and Clark University on Lake Quinsigamond. Shells were borrowed from the men's crew until November of 1976.

1975 Women's rowing becomes a fully funded varsity sport at Dartmouth. The first team captain is Judy Geer, a future three-time Olympian.

1976 Yale crew members stage a "Strip-In" in Director of Physical Education Joni Barnett's office. Protesting the lack of facilities for women rowers, about 20 team members strip off their sweats to reveal "Title IX" painted across their bare bodies; the event receives national attention and produces an increase in resources.

1978 The Yale heavyweight men's team races at the Henley Regatta.

1979 The Yale Women's team wins the Eastern Sprints and its first National Championship. They would repeat as national champions in 1987.

1980 The Penn women's team wins its first Eastern Sprints title, the varsity eight grand final.

1982 The Yale heavyweight men's team wins the first national championship.

1983 John Morrell joins the Yale JV lightweight crew team. Working his way up he letters by his senior year. Morrell went on to get a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT and invent critical elements of the Segway transportation device before becoming a professor of mechanical engineering at Yale.

1983 The Harvard heavyweight team wins the IRA Regatta and its first official National Championship, the first of eight official national titles (1983, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 2003 and 2004).

1984 The Brown men's team caps an undefeated regular season by winning the Eastern Sprints and setting a course record while defeating the University of Bristol, Cambridge University's Emmanuel College, the University of Washington, and Princeton to win the Ladies' Challenge Plate at the Henley Regatta.

1984 Harvard's Andrew Sudduth competes in the Olympics. Sudduth would go on to issue the first-ever warning about an internet virus in 1988, and would die tragically of pancreatic cancer in 2006.

1986 The Dartmouth women's team wins its first Ivy championship.

1986 Tom Auth begins rowing for Columbia. Auth would go on to become a two-time Olympian in 1996-2000.

1988 The Brown women's team wins its first Eastern Collegiate Rowing Association Championship with a record time of 6:23.2 on Lake Waramaug in Connecticut.

1989 The Radcliffe heavyweight women's team with at the Henley Regatta.

1989 Anderson Cooper, who now hosts his own show on CNN, graduates after competing for the Yale crew. He served as Yale's commencement speaker in 2006.

1991 The Harvard lightweight men's team wins the first of seven National Championships. The titles have come in 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2003.

1993 The Brown men's team has a perfect season., winning the Eastern Sprints, the Intercollegiate Rowing Association championships, the national heavyweight eight championship, and the Ladies' Plate at the Royal Henley Regatta. Four rowers - Igor Boraska , Jamie Koven, Xeno Muller, and Chris Sahs - would row for three nations in seven Olympics, winning three medals. Igor Boraska would win the first medal ever awarded to Croatia, a bronze, in the 2000 Games.

1995 The Radcliffe Lightweight team wins the first of three consecutive National Championships.

1995 Stacy Borgman joins the Columbia rowing team because her mother "thought it was the perfect sport for me." Borgman would go on to row at the 2004 Olympics.

1997 The Dartmouth women's team qualifies for the first NCAA Women's Championships. They would repeat in 1998 and 1999.

1999 The Brown women's team defeats Virginia at Rancho Cordova, CA to win the NCAA Division I title. The team would repeat in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006 (tied with Cal-Berkeley), and has the most titles of any Division I school.

2000 Columbia wins the men's lightweight Ivy title with an 11 second margin over Yale.

2003 After 30 years, Radcliffe (Harvard) women's crew takes the national team and varsity eight title, beating out rowing powerhouses such as Michigan, Stanford, and Washington in a time of 6:26.98 and 59 team points. The varsity eights also took All-Ivy first team honors, while head coach Liz O'Leary earned the Coach of the Year award from the College Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA).

2004 Hotel Rwanda, co-written by former Harvard rower Keir Pearson, is released. Pearson was nominated for Best Original Screenplay by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

2006 The Princeton men's heavyweight team wins the Ladies Plate Challenge at Henley.

— Stephen Eschenbach

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