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Women's Crew Takes Part in Head of the Charles Regatta

By Megan Jasek
Team Member

On the weekend of Oct. 23, the Charles River hosted one of the most spectacular sights in the rowing world: the Head of the Charles Regatta, an event in which over 1,000 boats race against the clock in one day. The varsity women were right there to experience it all. MIT raced four boats: a club four, a club eight, a lightweight four, and a championship eight.

The club four consisted of, from bow to stern, Pappudu Sriram '96 (cox), Malee Lucas '94, Louise Wells '96, Sarah Vitek '95, and Gloria Ro '94. These women did an incredible job with an average rower weight of about 123 pounds. They went through the starting shoot expecting to be passed by five boats. However, they took advantage of their light weight to overcome a small head wind, and were only passed by two boats. They finished 12th out of 33 boats with a time of 20 minutes, 46.25 seconds. Long Beach won the race with a time of 19:16.45.

The next race was the club eight event. From bow to stern, the rowers in this boat were Cathy Conley '96, Nicole Weymouth '96, Nicole Gotti '95, Becky Berry '95, Judy Ascano '96, Christine Macauley '94, Tracy Adams '94, Amy Swanson '95, and Candice Klug '94. They started 11th and finished 11th with a time of 18:31, only 10 seconds out of sixth place. This time put them ahead of Northeastern University, one of the team's rivals in the past. William Hobart Smith came in first with a time of 17:40.53.

The third race was the lightweight four event. There is only one lightweight race. It is not broken down into club and championship divisions, so these women competed with the best. From bow to stern the boat consisted of Shruti Sehra '96, Tiina Hameenanttila '94, Diane Hodges '95, Bethany Foch G, and Sabrina Bernold '95. The boat finished 13th out of 22 boats with a time of 21:03. The United States national team finished first with a time of 19:12.5. Other acclaimed boats that finished well were the Vesper rowing club of Philadelphia and the Boston Rowing Center.

The final race of the day for the women was the championship eight race. This eight from bow to stern was Victoria Parson '94, Linda Rosenband '96, Megan Jasek '94, Jessica Oleson '96, Lynn Yang '95, Sarah Black '96, Andrea Jensen '95, Sandie Stroupe (novice coach), and Sherry Hsiung '95. Despite vicious wind, the boat finished 21st out of 33 boats with a time of 18:20. Due to the awful conditions, the boat picked up 30 seconds' worth of buoy violations. BRC won the race with a time of 16:23.78.

Coach Mayrene Earle was extremely pleased with all the results. So far the year is going as expected -- strong and steady, she said.

The next event on the scullers' schedule is the intramural crew challenge, to take place this weekend. The race is a 1,000-meter sprint that starts just after the Harvard Bridge. Come down to the riverside and watch your friends skim the waves.