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Crew can't hold on after fast start

By Anh Thu Vo

The MIT men's lightweight crew team lost their races to crews from Cornell and Columbia Universities on the Charles River last Saturday, April 22.

The lightweights were eager to improve their record of 4-3, having defeated Connecticut College, University of Rhode Island, State University New York at Albany, and US Coast Guard Academy while losing to Harvard University, Dartmouth College, and Yale University.

"Our strategy was to be aggressive, get in front, and row long and clean to keep our lead," Coach Peter Holland said.

Despite its fast start and early lead, the varsity eight simply could not hold its own against the "power" moves made by Cornell and Columbia during the second 500 meters. MIT was first off the starting line, and they maintained this lead until the 600-meter mark when Columbia and Cornell pulled past to take first and second places, respectively.

Columbia won the race in 6:48.6, followed by Cornell (6:52.6) and MIT (6:58.3).

The JV eight also lost to their opponents from Cornell and Columbia. MIT was four seats behind as they left the starting line. The Engineers then lost contact with their opponents near the 500-meter mark and were left to row their own race. Cornell finished first (7:00.3), followed by Columbia (7:03.3) and MIT (7:35.4).

The JV eight simply did not row anywhere near their capabilities last Saturday, according to Holland. He added that there were some non-racing rowers who "are really close to making the JV," and JV rowers with potential to make varsity, implying that more changes in the lineup can be expected in the next three weeks. The men's Eastern Sprints, the racing season final, is in three weeks.

The first and second freshman lightweight eights also lost their races last Saturday. Cornell won the first freshman lightweight eight race (7:01.3), followed by MIT (7:12.1) and Columbia (7:23.9). Cornell also won the second freshmen lightweight eight race (7:20.0), followed by Columbia (7:32.1) and MIT (7:55.9).

The men's lightweight teams will compete against Rutgers University next Saturday. Afterwards they will travel to Worcester to compete in the Eastern Sprints on May 14.