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Crew has mixed result in NY

By Jay Damask

The men's heavyweight varsity and freshmen crews travelled to New York City in order to race Columbia University on Sunday afternoon. Although the first varsity and first freshmen boats lost their respective races, the second and third varsity and second freshmen boats won their races.

Both the MIT and Columbia rowing programs have been growing in the past four years. Faster and closer races make the heats even more exciting for the two schools. With the exception of the MIT third varsity, which was able to gain open water on the other crew, all the crews crossed the finish line only a few seconds apart.

The first varsity race was timed with the tidal Harlem River for the best possible conditions. The Engineers jumped out to a six seat lead with a new racing shell donated last month by the Friends of MIT Crew. MIT, stroking at 34 strokes per minute, maintained their margin until the 500 meter point.

Columbia, rowing at a 35, then started to move back on the MIT boat. At 1000 meters the Columbia crew held the lead by two seats. MIT tried their big move in the third 500 meters, but it was not effective in holding off the blue crew. At 1500 meters Columbia held four seats on the Engineers. The MIT boat began to scramble during their sprint and lost even more ground. At the finish the Engineers had lost by 3.4 seconds. A disappointed oarsman later complained of an overall lack of intensity during the race.

The junior varsity crew won their race by six seats, or about two seconds. The tide of the river, in the direction of the course, contributed to the exceedingly short races. The JV finish time was only 5 minutes and 45 seconds.

The JV started at 42 strokes per minute and settled to a 35.5 for the body of the race. Already two seats up at the settle, the boat felt smooth and powerful. When crossing the 500 meter point the Engineers held three seats on the other crew. Two power tens (a power ten is ten strokes at 115 percent effort) in the second 500 meters pulled the MIT crew to a full length lead over Columbia.

However, the third 500 meters felt tense, and the power twenty didn't move the boat further ahead of Columbia. Columbia moved up two seats by the 1500 meters mark. The JV sprinted, stroking at a 39, but again was unable to increase their lead. Columbia's tenacity maintained the six seat margin at the finish line.

The oarsmen of the JV crew are: stroke Davis Bregman '90; Eric Burgess 90; Roger Knapp '91; Carl Lienert '89; Bob Martin '90; Mike Petro '89; Tom Cole '91; Paul Isakson '90; and coxswain Yungie Hahn '91.

The third varsity beat the Columbia lightweight third varsity by two seats open water in a time of 5:54. The 3V started with fifteen strokes at 43 strokes per minute and settled to a 35 for the body of the race. Columbia took an additional five strokes high at the start but was unable to move on the Engineers. By the 500 meter mark MIT was up two seats on Columbia. Two power tens in the second 500 meters pulled the 3V to a six seat lead over Columbia.

The Engineers made the third 500 meters work for them. They pulled up to Columbia's bow ball and threatened to open water on Columbia. At 1500 meters the 3V started to scramble. The sprint was not very effective in burying Columbia but did open two seats of open water at the finish.

The oarsmen of the 3V crew are: stroke Pete Rovelstad '90; Matt Wall '89; Rich Cheng '90; Jay Damask '90; Ed Munnich '91; Elliott Hewitt '89; Nick Carter '90; and coxswain Howard Weingram '90.

The first freshmen, in a powerful come from behind, lost to Columbia by one seat (0.5 seconds). The start was a choppy 41. The freshmen had a two tier settle, first to a 38 and then to 34.5 strokes per minute. After 500 meters MIT was a full six seats down on Columbia.

The freshmen didn't try to move during the second 500 meters, instead concentrating on rowing smoothly and powerfully. By the time they crossed the 1000 meter mark, MIT was a grim ten seats down on Columbia. At 1200 meters, still down on Columbia, the freshmen took a power 20 and began to walk up on Columbia. Pouring it on, the freshmen pulled themselves back into the race by the 1500 meter mark.

Columbia held only four seats on the Engineers with 50 strokes to go, and MIT kept charging until they had cut another three seats off the lead boat. But with 30 strokes to go MIT started their sprint. The sprint felt tense and the boat lost its swing. The frosh were unable to pull up that one seat to beat Columbia to the finish.

The second freshmen were more successful. The 2F won by two seats. After a smooth start, they, like the 1F, were down a full length by the 500 meter mark. Columbia tried to move out by 1000 meters but MIT stuck with them. Entering the second half of the race MIT was still down by a length.

The power twenty on the third 500 meters was strong but not effective in shaving off the Columbia lead. With only 500 meters left in the race MIT took the rating up two strokes per minute to start their sprint. The Engineers walked right through a tired Columbia and took a three seat advantage in about 30 strokes. Columbia tried a last-ditch effort to regain the lead, but MIT held two seats on the blue crew across the finish line.

The oarsmen of the 2F crew are: stroke Dylan Cors '91; Shaun Meredith; Deniz Yuret; Joost Bonsen; Phillip Brown; Yen Ho; Brian Pomper; Guillermo Trinchet; and coxswain Eric Portman.

The heavyweight crew will race Boston University and Northeastern University this Wednesday night, on the Charles River, starting at 6 pm. Though NU is considered an elite crew, the races should prove to be very competitive. The finish line is across from Next House on the Cambridge side of the river.

(Editor's note: Jay Damask '90 is a member of the varsity heavyweight crew team.)