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Women Rowers Slice Competitors in Regattas

By Megan Jasek
Team Member

"MIT on the paddle. . . Okay guys, all eight on the paddle. . . Number 478, Cornell University, Go! 479, Brown University, take it up. . . All eight up to three-quarters pressure on this one. . . Brown University Go! 480, MIT, bring it up. . . Full pressure on this one. . . MIT Go! beeeep. . . power ten to start us off. . ."

These are the voices of one of the MIT coxswains and the starter of the Head of the Ohio Regatta. The MIT rowers heard phrases similar to these at the beginning of all their head races in the fall. This weekend, the women's crews were spread out across the country. The varsity boat went to the Head of the Ohio in Pittsburgh and the lightweight and junior varsity boats went to the Textile Regatta in Lowell, Mass.

The Massachusetts-based crews had a good weekend. The junior varsity eight rowed in the club eight event. From bow to stern that boat consisted of Heather Back '96, Catherine Conley '96, Nicole Weymouth '96, Linda Rosenband '96, Stacy Morris '96, Judy Ascano '96, Christine Macauley '94, Tracy Adams '94, and Pappudu Sriram '96. They placed fourth out of 17 boats with a time of 20 minutes, 27 seconds. Boston College was first with a time of 19:49, but the junior varsity was happy to know that its time beat the Simmons varsity boat.

The lightweight boat was frustrated when it arrived in Lowell to find out that they were the only boat registered for the lightweight race, so they too rowed in the club eight event. Overcoming all forms of disappointment they came in eighth with a time of 20:29, only 22 seconds behind the other MIT boat. That boat from bow to stern consisted of Gloria Ro '94, Cindy Fung '96, Louise Wells '96, Sarah Vitek '95, Becky Berry '95, Malee Lucas '94, Tiina Hameenanttila '94, Diane Hodges '95 and Candice Klug '94.

The morning in Pittsburgh started off at 6:30 a.m. when the athletes left the home of a 1980 Sloan graduate. The first race of the day was the open four event at 9:50 a.m. The MIT women raced two fours. The MIT-A boat consisted of, from bow to stern, Victoria Parson '94, Sarah Black '96, Megan Jasek '94, Andrea Jensen '95, and Sherry Hsiung '95. The MIT-B boat consisted of, from bow to stern, Bethany Foch G, Sabrina Bernold '95, Amy Swanson '95, Jessica Oleson '96, and Shruti Serha '96. There were 10 boats competing in the race. MIT-A finished third with a time of 16:29.3 and MIT-B finished fifth with a time of 17:10.1. The Cornell A and B boats placed first and second.

The day grew drearier and the rain started to fall. The regatta was behind schedule by an hour, but that did not stop the MIT rowers from being psyched for their eights race now postponed to 3:30 p.m. The rowers kept warm and tried to dry their racing clothing in a Suburban with the heat on. The championship eights race was the last race of the day. The water was much calmer for this race than it had been in the morning. There were 11 boats in this race. The MIT eight which consisted of the same eight rowers listed above and coxswain Sherry Hsiung placed third behind Cornell and Brown.

It was a great rowing weekend for the MIT women. Coach Mayrene Earle said this is by far the best crew that she has ever coached. She anticipates great things for the women this year. She said the team is filled with depth and spirit.