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Women's Crew Endures Connecticut Regatta

By Cathy Conley, Andrea Jensen, and Anna Rivers
Team Members
Middletown, Conn.

The heat was on and the pressure high as the women's crew rowed through windy waters last Sunday at their first showing at the Head of the Connecticut in eight years. They took the regatta by storm and proved they were contenders for the fall season.

MIT entered three strong boats - one in the open event and two in the intermediate events.

After an hour-and-a-half delay due to a barge, each crew was able to pull together mentally and physically to endure this long 3.5-mile regatta. The lightweight and junior varsity crews were the first to face the heavy head wind in the intermediate event.

The JV crew, after a bit of a hectic start, started off powerfully, passing two boats in the first mile. A strong surge in the last half mile pushed them past yet another crew, putting them in 18th place of 51 finishers with a time of 27 minutes, 12 seconds.

The boat was comprised of, from bow to stern, Stacy Morris '96, Shelly Sakiyama '96, Nicole Weymouth '96, Cathy Conley '96, Joanne Mikkelson '96, Judy Ascano '96, Stephanie Speaker '97, Cindy Fein '97, and coxswain Margarita Brito '97.

The lightweights battled rough conditions during the first half of their intermediate race with power and control. In the last mile the conditions improved, and the boat surged ahead, passing a competing crew in about 10 strokes.

As they approached the last 500 meters, they continued to pull away from the crews behind them to a strong finish of 28:29, 33rd of the same 51 crews in the event.

Lara Ivey '97, Anna Rivers '97, Rebecca Fahrmeier '95, Heather Lee '95, Heather Back '96, Sabrina Bernold '95, Louise Wells '96, Malee Lucas G, and coxswain Shruti Sehra '96 made up the crew for that boat.

The varsity boat competed an hour later in the Open Eight race, working through the same head wind for the first 2.5 miles.

The MIT crew rowed past the nearby Simmons crew in the first few minutes of the race and spent the rest of the race chasing the pack of crews who had started ahead of them. They finished 10th with a time of 26:38, well within reach of many of the top crews.

The Head of the Connecticut was an excellent preview of what's to come at the Head of the Charles Regatta on Sunday, Oct. 23. If the crews can do this well at races away from home, it is easy to imagine how well they could do on their home turf with the support of the MIT community.