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Zeng ’11 Set to Compete for Oxford in The Boat Race

William Zeng. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
William Zeng. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Will Zeng '11, a former lightweight, has been busy since winning the national championship last spring. After being chosen as a recipient of the Rhodes Scholarship, Zeng arrived at Oxford last fall determined to make an impact on the Oxford University Boat Club. He has just accomplished that feat, being selected to represent the club in the 158th Boat Race on Apr. 7.  The Boat Race, one of the oldest sporting events in the world, pits Oxford University against Cambridge University in a 6.8 km race along the River Thames in West London between Putney and Mortlake. This fierce rivalry first took place in 1829 and has been occurring regularly since then. 

Zeng, a physics major at Yale, is pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Science currently at Oxford. Zeng had a very successful tenure during his time at Yale. As a freshman, he stroked the undefeated and Sprints winning first freshman boat. He helped the third varsity earn a bronze at Sprints his sophomore year and as a junior earned another Sprints bronze, this time a member of the varsity. He capped off his Yale career by rowing in the varsity boat that captured the national championship last spring.

"It is a real honor to be able to row for Oxford in The Boat Race," said Zeng. "The event has an important place in modern sports, predating the modern Olympics and any other intercollegiate athletic competition. The professionalism on display from both crews and coaches is, in fact, not mere display. If I had to sum up my experience so far, then I'd say that we haven't taken anything for granted, and almost refuse to set a standard that is at all reasonable."

Joining Zeng in the Oxford boat will be coxswain Zoe De Toledo, Alex Woods, Kevin Baum, Hanno Wienhausen, Karl Hudspith, Alex Davidson, Dan Harvey and Roel Haen. Racing against them will be the Cambridge crew of coxswain Ed Bosson, Moritz Schramm, David Nelson, Mike Thorp, Jack Lindeman, Alexander Scharp, Steve Dudek, Alex Ross and Niles Garratt. At the official weigh in, the Oxford crew weighed an average of 88.4 kg (194.8 lbs), while Cambridge weighed in at a heavier 96.3 kg (212.3 lbs).     
More info on The Boat Race can be found here.
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity