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Crew Rows Past WPI, Connecticut, Williams

By Jonathan Li
Team Member

The heavyweight crew team travelled to Lowell, Mass. last weekend to challenge Connecticut College, Williams College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute in hopes of continuing its success after triumphing over Columbia University the previous weekend. Both varsity and freshmen boats were victorious, soundly defeating all other opponents.

The varsity first boat won its race with a formidable lead over the other three crews. After losing last year to Connecticut College in the final sprint, the Engineers were looking for revenge. MIT pulled away in the first 500 meters and held open water by the halfway point. It was all over by then for Connecticut, who managed to edge out Williams for second place.

The second varsity defeated the same three crews after enduring a collision with the Middlebury College boat. As MIT approached the starting line, the Middlebury coxswain apparently did not see MIT and steered right into their path. Seconds later John Singer '95 broke his oar across the back of the MIddlebury bowman. The MIT boat quickly return to shore to repair the damage, a bent rigger and minor hull damage.

By race time the conditions had deteriorated, and the course was covered with very choppy water and a strong headwind. MIT moved early in the race to take a length lead by the 500-meter mark, which increased steadily over the course of the race. The other crews appeared to have trouble with the rough water but MIT, accustomed to the Charles River, took the waves in stride.

Both freshmen heavyweight men's crews won on Saturday. The conditions were still calm as the first freshmen boat came to line. After the first 35 strokes, MIT already had a slight lead on Williams and WPI, and a longer lead on Connecticut College. Halfway through the race, MIT had about a three-boatlength lead on the nearest competitor, Williams, and by the end of the race, MIT led by 23 seconds.

The second freshmen also came away with a win. Just before the 1,000-meter mark, MIT had a half-boatlength lead, which was quickly extended during the last 1,000 meters.

The third boat raced on the Charles against Northeastern and Boston Universities. MIT started close to the other boats, but began to slip back at the halfway point. MIT ended up losing to BU, which was the eventual winner, by almost 30 seconds.