Sprint Puts Women's Crew in SecondBy Amy Bowen
The MIT women's crew team traveled out to Holyoke, Mass., Saturday to race against Mount Holyoke and Simmons. Although the clumps of melting snow made it seem more like winter than spring, there were no waves and no wind on the river. The Holyoke course is directed against a substantial current, but to compensate, the course is substantially shorter than the standard 2,000 meters. Each MIT crew took advantage of the excellent water conditions and short course to row well together.
MIT inched ahead of Simmons at the start of the varsity eight race and continued to steadily move on them down the course. After extensive illnesses, all of the rowers in the first eight were healthy, and they consequently had a good row. A strong sprint at the end brought them in second place behind Mount Holyoke and 10.8 seconds ahead of Simmons. The MIT junior varsity eight could not race Simmons, who have only a JV four. However, they demonstrated how much speed they have picked up in the last couple of weeks by finishing much closer to Mount Holyoke than at their last meeting on Apr. 4. Both crews raced at higher stroke ratings than they have so far this spring.
The first novice eight had a very exciting race. Intent upon beating rival Mount Holyoke after losing to them on Apr. 4, MIT proved they were a strong crew by taking the lead in the first 20 strokes. MIT kept a firm hold on that lead for the body of the race and pulled even further ahead in the last 500 meters for a well-earned first place, 3.8 seconds ahead of Mount Holyoke and 4.2 seconds ahead of Simmons. Just as in the junior varsity race, the MIT second novice eight did not have a chance to race Simmons. However, the second novice eight had a solid row, coming in second behind Mount Holyoke.
Although the MIT women lost the Brunelle Cup, awarded to the winner of the varsity eight race, they are aiming to bring the cup home next spring. This weekend, the MIT women will be racing Boston University and Northeastern on Saturday and Tufts on Sunday.