|Liz Miles, a doctoral candidate in anthropology from New Haven, CT
||Kelly Bayles, a librarian from Tulsa, OK
||Tim Mercure, a graduate student in mathematics from Washington, DC (1-day total: $20,401)
Scores going into Final Jeopardy:
Final Jeopardy! category: COLLEGE TEAM SPORTS
Final Jeopardy! clue: The USA’s first intercollegiate athletic event was in 1852 in this, which as a sport goes back to at least the Middle Ages
What is rowing? (Incorrect responses, if any, and any game stats, can be found in the comments section.)
Tim 4200 – 2601 = 1599
Liz 7600 – 3000 = 4600
Kelly 16900 – 0 = 16900
Boat clubs at Harvard and Yale had existed since the early 1840s, but races against outside competition was rare. That all changed when Yale issued a challenge to Harvard “to test the superiority of the oarsmen of the two colleges.” Thus the oldest intercollegiate athletic event was born.
On August 3, 1852—in a two-mile race on the calm waters of Lake Winnipesaukee—Harvard and Yale battled like never before. Yale was represented by two boats, the Shawmut and the Undine, while Harvard rowed in the Oneida. Harvard won the inaugural race by about four lengths, earning a pair of black walnut oars as its prize. It seems that people right away knew this was going to be the start of something big for among the distinguished observers was General Franklin Pierce, the Democratic party nominee and native of nearby Hillsborough, who would be elected President later that year.
No further races were held between the schools until July 1855, when Yale issued another challenge. In a contest held on the Connecticut River in Springfield, Harvard made it two straight, winning by one minute and 38 seconds. Harvard and Yale met again in 1859 and 1860, but it wasn’t until 1864 that the Regatta became an annual event. Yale gained its first series win that year, taking the three-miler on Worcester’s Lake Quinsigamond by 42 seconds.
(contestant photo credit: jeopardy.com)
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