Women's Crew Sweeps RegattaBy Rita Baranwal
Last Saturday, MIT's women's crews swept all possible races at the second annual New England Women's New 8 Regatta. The varsity eight, junior varsity eight, varsity four, first novice eight, and second novice eight all placed first in their contests.
After losing to Mount Holyoke College by 5 seconds at the Brunelle Cup on April 17, the MIT women's varsity eight made an excellent turnaround by beating MHC by 10 seconds and winning the championship with a time of 7 minutes, 40 second. After they rowed past MHC in the first 30 strokes, the Engineers rowed past Smith College at the 1000-meter mark. The crew continued to row well, walking through Wellesley College at the 1500-meter mark.
Coach Mayrene Earle said, "I'm very excited about having the varsity crew in the most challenging grand finals at the New England Sprints this coming weekend. We'll be rowing against many crews travelling at the same speed."
The MIT women's junior varsity eight won with a time of 8:20, leaving competitors in their wake. The junior varsity crew also had an excellent turnaround from the previous week. After losing to MHC by 22 seconds, they ended up beating them by 18 seconds on Saturday. The women's varsity four beat Wellesley by 23 seconds with a time of 9:36.
The undefeated novice women's first eight crossed the finish line first, with a time of 7:45, beating Wellesley, MHC, and Smith. Its strongest competition at the New England championship will be Trinity College.
An exciting novice second eight race ended with the MIT-A team winning with a time of 8:29 and the MIT-B team beating Wellesley with a time of 9:02.
This was the second year of the New 8 Regatta. MHC won the contest in its first year. The Regatta marks the first time that MIT has beaten Mount Holyoke since 1987.
The Engineers set a record in the number of points scored in the Florence Smith Cup points trophy, a record that will never be broken because they scored the maximum number of points possible."
Crew alumnae visit MIT
Later in the day, rowing alumnae from across the country participated in a contest on the ergs. The alumnae were very excited to get back on the ergs, as some of them had not been on one in several years. Afterwards, they participated in a very competitive race out on the water.
The day ended with a banquet and several nostalgic speeches by past rowers and coaches. After listening to all of the troubles that women who rowed as many as 20 years ago had gaining recognition as a team sport, and their problems with lack of equipment, coaches, uniforms, and respect, the current women rowers said they realized how fortunate they are to have all that they do. Earle added a cautionary note, though. "It's getting easier, but not by much," she said.