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Heavyweight Crew Rows Past Tufts, UNH

By Jonathan Li
and Lorin Theiss

Team Members

The MIT men's heavyweight crew crushed Tufts University and the University of New Hampshire on the Charles River on April 25 and 26.

With fairly flat water and a slight head wind, both of MIT's fours, composed of the third varsity heavyweights, beat UN* in the first race on Sunday.

The second freshmen boats were the next to race. MIT was gradually falling behind UN* as they came to the 1,000-meter mark when Brian Fitch '96 dislocated his shoulder. Ignoring the slight inconvenience, Fitch continued to row. As MIT passed the 1,500-meter mark, Fitch's shoulder popped back into place. Despite the superb effort of Fitch and the entire crew, MIT lost to UN* but was able to hold off Tufts.

Gusts of wind had reached 30 mph at the start of the first freshman race, causing MIT's boat to fill with water. At the start, MIT surged forward to take the lead over UN* and Tufts. At the 1200-meter mark, UN* made an attempt to overtake MIT. Their attempts were futile as MIT held their lead and crossed the finish line with a boat 3/4 full of water.

Before the start of the second varsity race, a Northeastern University boat swamped, causing the suspension of all races until the boat could be removed. Shortly thereafter, the coaches postponed the varsity races until Monday due to increasingly bad winds.

At 5:30 a.m. on Monday, the varsity heavyweight boat faced only Tufts, since UN* had to return home on Sunday. Despite being three seats down after the start, MIT quickly took several power strokes, gaining almost a seat per stroke, and passed Tufts by the 700-meter mark. As the race progressed, MIT increased their lead. At the end of the race, MIT easily had 3 lengths of open water over their opponents.

The second varsity boat began its race very strong. According to Eric Martin '94, "we had six seats on Tufts after the first 10 strokes of the race -- it was then only a matter of putting more open water between our two boats." By the 1,000-meter mark, MIT had gained one length of open water. MIT continued to open its lead and crossed the finish line with three lengths of open water over Tufts.

Cochrane Cup

Despite more setbacks to the team, the men's varsity heavyweights continued a remarkable spring season last weekend as they hosted the University of Wisconsin and Boston University in the Cochrane Cup.

The varsity boat lost by only four seconds to BU and five seconds to Wisconsin, posting a time of 6:01.4. This is the best finish for the Engineers against these crews in years.

The varsity boat had a good start, staying even with the other crews for the first 250 meters. The crew lost some seats before the 500 meter point. However, MIT gained on both crews through the last 1,500 meters of the race, rowing with the tenacity and strength that is typical of the MIT crews.

The varsity squad had hopes of beating BU and Wisco, but sickness is still a problem for the team. Following last Monday's convincing win over Tufts, the stroke for the varsity boat, Bill Ramsey '93, became ill. This was the fourth person in the varsity boat to become seriously ill this spring. Lorin Theiss '94 assumed the duties as stroke with the team adjusting to the new lineup quite quickly.

The crew is hoping Ramsey can return this week. However, both boats hope to place in the top at Eastern Sprints in Worcester next weekend, with or without the return of Ramsey.

Earlier Saturday morning, the third varsity four, consisting of Conan Hom '95, Dan Dunn '94, Hans Liemke '94, Sean Olson '93, and Steven Carbone '94, edged out both BU third varsity fours in a close race. The four was down about two seats for the first 1500 meters of the race and made an early sprint at the 1600 meter mark to get ahead of BU, winning by two seconds. The JV boat finished 15 seconds behind BU and Wisconsin.

The freshmen heavies started their weekend by racing BU on Saturday. Both crews lost to BU, with the first boat losing by only eight tenths of a second in a heartbreaker to BU's freshmen. Both freshmen boats traveled on Sunday to race the "big green" at Dartmouth. The first boat lost by 10 seconds and the second boat lost to Dartmouth's undefeated second freshmen squad.

All crews will head to Worcester this weekend for Eastern Sprints. They will return the following weekend to compete for the Collegiate National Championship.