Oxford Defeats Cambridge in Boat Race
...~~~ Perkins, who was told he had fewer than two years to live when a tumor the size of a golf ball was found on his brain a half-dozen years ago,...
Mar 30 1:07 PM ET
Posted on: 03/31/2002
Sat Mar 30, 1:07 PM ET
By STEPHEN WADE, AP Sports Writer
Cancer survivor Dan Perkins helped Oxford defeat Cambridge on Saturday in a come-from behind victory in the 148th Boat Race one of the closest duels in memory.
It was only Oxford's second victory in the last 10 races on the 4 1/4-mile stretch of the Thames. Oxford finished in 16 minutes, 54 seconds with Cambridge across in 16:56 a three-quarter length advantage.
"It was just 16, 17 minutes of war," said Perkins, of Sharon, Conn. "I didn't think we were the underdogs. I had a sense that maybe Cambridge's rhythm was going to pull them through. But we have a strong belief in what we do. I hope people are talking about the Oxford rhythm now."
Perkins, who was told he had fewer than two years to live when a tumor the size of a golf ball was found on his brain a half-dozen years ago, wanted the race to provide inspiration of other cancer victims.
"I hope this will give a lot of hope to people that are trying to survive cancer," he said. "It took a lot of courage, but we had it in the last bend."
It was one of the three closest finishes in the last 50 years the other two coming in Oxford's wins in 1952 and 1980. Despite the loss, Cambridge still leads 77-70 with one tie in a series that dates from 1829.
Oxford, trailing by a half length after three-quarters of the race, pulled away down the stretch although Cambridge had the inside advantage on the bend near the finish.
"We just kept on closing," said Oxford's Luke McGee, of Bridgeport, Conn. "We sat on one-half length (behind) and then under Barnes Bridge is where the guys pulled together."
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