Men's Heavyweight Crew Takes Home BronzeBy John Prato
and Neeraj Gupta
The varsity heavyweight men's crew medaled in every event it entered at the Head of the Ohio regatta in Pittsburgh, Pa., to start the season with a strong showing.
The championship event of the day, the men's open eight, attracted some of the fastest crews in the nation, including Brown, Cornell, Notre Dame, and a few Canadian teams. The varsity boat broke the course record, finishing just five seconds behind powerhouse Cornell at 11:25 to earn a bronze medal. Lorin Theiss '94, John Prato '95, Godard Abel '93, Nathan Crosswhite '95, Jed Macosko '94, John Li '93, Jeff Tomasi '95, Bill Ramsey '93 (stroke), and Neeraj Gupta '94 (coxswain) rowed in the event.
Tech started third in the staggered start, but pulled through Notre Dame easily. "Our plan was to catch the Irish by the halfway point," explained Ramsey, "but we started aggressively and passed them in the first 500 meters."
MIT broke away to chase Cornell, but with less than a mile to go, first-place Brown made a charge at the Engineers. MIT held strong and crossed the finish line in a shoot-out with the champions.
The varsity eight also took the bronze medal in the H.J. Heinz Invitational 500 meter sprint. The race was best described by Abel. "We had a rough start and were in last place after the first five strokes. After that, it wasn't the smoothest rowing, but we pulled [hard] and got third." The Engineers soundly defeated Ohio State and Brock University, while Brown and Cornell took the top two spots.
In the Master's (34 years and up) Four event, Chris Ryan '69 (stroke) and Conan Hom '95 (coxswain) gave MIT its only victory of the day. The two engineers led their boat to a five-second victory over Leander Boat Club of Canada on the way to setting a new course record. "We lost our skeg early in the race during a power ten, but that didn't stop us from rowing through [two boats]," commented Hom.
Earlier in the day, MIT alumni (Brad Layton '92, Steve Tucker '92, Jeff Myjack '91, and Melissa Norcross '91) took third in the Open Four event. The Alumni boat proved to be just faster than the two varsity boats, but was no match for the record-setting boats from Brown. MIT varsity C finished in fourth while the B boat rowed to sixth.
The Engineers are away the next two weekends for the Textile River Regatta and the New Hampshire Championships, before returning home for the Head of the Charles on October 18.