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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 March 2008, 12:05 GMT
Wherley is oldest Boat Race rower
The Cambridge crew celebrate their 2007 success.
Cambridge are the defending Boat Race winners
US veteran Mike Wherley is set to become the oldest-ever Boat Race oarsman when he rows for Oxford in this year's contest on the Thames.

Wherley celebrates his 36th birthday two weeks before the 2008 event, which takes place on Saturday, 29 March.

The previous oldest Boat Race rower was ex-Oxford president Donald McDonald, who was 31 when he took part in 1987.

Andrew Probert, who was 38 when he coxed Cambridge in the 1992 race, remains the oldest competitor.

Cambridge's John Heder is older than Wherley but he has been selected for the Goldie v Isis reserve crew race.

He will be joined in the Light Blues' reserve boat by Cambridge president Dan O'Shaughnessy who failed to make the main crew.

To win the Boat Race would be a fantastic end to my rowing career

Mike Wherley

Shaughnessy said: "I've known for quite a long time. I was a bit disappointed but there is no time for that.

"Last year's crew had talent and experience but this year's is all blood and guts - they're really tough."

Wherley, who competed for the USA in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, will fill the number five seat for Oxford.

He said: "The Boat Race is such a historical event. This is a great opportunity to be part of it, and to win it would be a fantastic end to my rowing career."

Rebecca Dowbiggin, cox of last year's winning Cambridge crew, will be at the helm again, with Oxford president Nicholas Brodie trying to turn the tables.

Cambridge: Colin Scott (Trinity Hall College), Tim Perkins (Jesus), Henry Pelly (St Edmund's), Tobias Garnett (Trinity), Peter Marsland (Clare Hall), Tom Ransley (Hughes Hall), Tom Edwards (Gonville and Caius), Shane O'Mara (Hughes Hall), cox Rebecca Dowbiggin (Emmanuel).

Oxford: Jan Herzog (St Catherine's), Toby Medaris (Kellogg), Ben Smith (Christ Church), Aaron Marcovy (St Edmund Hall), Michael Wherley (Oriel), Oliver Moore (Oriel), Charles Cole (Kellogg), William England (Christ Church), cox Nicholas Brodie (St Catherine's).



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