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"To tell you the truth," he said, "my stroke knew we could win all along, and I did, too." He might have added that, had he spread this around before the IRA final, nobody would have believed him; Cornell had lost five of its last six races.
Like most rowing coaches nowadays, Jesdale teaches a relatively low rate of strokes, sacrificing "speed" for power. A new Stampfli shell also may have had something to do with Cornell's unlikely victory.
"We got a good start for a change," said Jesdale, manipulating a beer can he had been creasing for hours. "That's right," agreed Coxswain Jeffrey Cornett, "and we made it stand up."
As Jesdale walked rather dazedly about the boathouse, someone asked his age. He turned to his wife. "Let's see, I'm not sure. Honey, how old am I?" Mrs. Jesdale gave the question some thought. "I guess you're about 31," she finally said.
After the race a newspaperman said to Wetherill, "Dave, would you mind answering a few questions?"
"I don't know," replied Wetherill. "This is the first time a writer ever asked me any."
Trying a little repechage of its own, the press learned that Wetherill is 25, has served in the Marines and is a student of agricultural science.
Some farmer. Some boat race.
Coach Vic Michalson of Brown, whose eight finished fourth ahead of Rutgers and a Navy crew that had borrowed too heavily on its grit, came by to slap Jesdale on the back. "Sorry we couldn't all win," said Jesdale, sounding as if he did so every week.