Women's Crew Leaves Simmons Behind, Setting Pace ThroughoutBy Victoria Parson
Last Saturday, in their last race on the Charles this season, the varsity women's crew team was able to outrow Simmons College by 10.6 seconds, bringing their record for the season to 4-1.
The race, which began with an unexpected start, was in a tail and cross-wind for all 2,000 meters. MIT started making a high 44 strokes per minute, then settled to a 36 for the first 500 meters. The Engineers were up a boat length on Simmons and held the lead for another 500 meters. In the last 1,000 meters, admittedly their best part of the race, the Engineers brought the stroke rating down to a comfortable 34 and pulled away, leaving open water between them and their opponents. The finishing times for MIT and Simmons were 7 minutes 19.29 seconds and 7:29.89, respectively.
Although this was not MIT's best race this season, it did highlight areas that need improvement for next week's Eastern Sprints. For instance, the rowers brought up the stroke rating a beat or two higher than usual, and the strokes did not go as smoothly as intended. "I'm glad that we rowed this race at a 36. We know what we need to do in order to put together a great race at that stroke rating for next week," commented rower Sarah Black '96.
All oarswomen are looking forward to placing higher at the Eastern Sprints than they have in past years. Their competitors will include Radcliffe College, Boston University, Northeastern University, and last year's National Champions, Princeton University. The race will be held in New Preston, Connecticut.
The lightweight eight finished powerfully in 7:42.2, beating the Universityof Rhode Island by 20 seconds. Next week they will compete in the New England
Championships in Worcester and, tentatively, in the Eastern Sprints as well.
The junior varsity crew could not hold off against its opponent, Tufts University, and lost by 10 seconds, with a time of 7:49.7. The crew raced well, but Tufts, who over-stroked MIT, took the lead early and kept it. MIT also suffered some equipment problems before the race, furthering hampering their efforts.
The two novice boats, who also raced Simmons, had varying results. The first novice eight, with a time of 8:02, lost to Simmons by 10 seconds. The second novice eight, with a time of 8:01, slaughtered the Simmons second novice boat by 35 seconds.