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Women's Crew Performs Well at the Head of the Charles

By Andrea Jensen, Stacy Morris, and Cathy Conley
Team Members

In one of the best showings put on by the entire boathouse in about 20 years, the MIT women's crews showed their growing strength as contenders in the fall season at the Head of the Charles Regatta last Sunday.

The conditions were near perfection. Little to no wind, a good amount of sun, and unseasonably warm temperatures enabled the rowers to focus entirely on their task at hand: to beat the varsity and junior varsity boats of former national champions Boston University.

The women entered three boats in this year's Head of the Charles Regatta.

The JV boat competed in the first race of the day, the Club Eight event. In this event, it competed against a number of JV, varsity, and club crews from across the continent.

The crew members had a challenge before them as they started down the course since there was a lot of distance between their boat and the boats in front of them and behind them.

"The people cheering for us on the bridges really kept us going throughout the entire race," said Nicole Weymouth '96.

The JV crew finished 16th out of 43 crews. Although disappointed that they placed behind BU's JV boat by 0.11 seconds, the rowers were quite pleased to beat the Northeastern University and Wellesley College JV crews by over 20 seconds.

Rowing in the boat, from bow to stern, were Stacy Morris '96, Anna Rivers '97, Weymouth, Cathy Conley '96, Joanne Mikkelson '96, Heather Lee '95, Stephanie Speaker '97, Cindy Fein '97, and coxswain Margarita Brito '97.

The lightweight eight also put in a strong finish to contribute to the team's overall great performance. This crew finished as the fifth collegiate crew, and placed ninth overall with a fast time of 18 minutes, 43.66 seconds.

Although their path down the race course was jeopardized most of the distance by a crew from the University of Pittsburgh, coxswain Shruti Sehra '96 steered the most efficient course possible, enabling her boat to still race competitively.

The lightweight crew consisted of Diane Hodges '95, Louise Wells '96, Sabrina Bernold '95, Malee Lucas G, Rebecca Fahrmeier '95, Lara Ivey '97, Shelly Sakiyama '96, and Sarah Vitek '95.

The varsity crew competed in the last event of the day, the Championship Eights. This event was won by the National Team, rowing as a Boston Rowing Center crew.

The varsity crew of Becky Berry '95 (Bow), Judy Ascano '96 (2), Linda Rosenband '96 (3), Sarah Black '96 (4), Amy Geiffers '97 (5), Jessica Oleson '96 (6), Lynn Yang '95 (7), Andrea Jensen '95 (Stroke), and coxswain Sherry Hsiung '95 rowed the 3.5 mile course in 17:28.80, tying Boston University for 19th place and coming within 0.7 seconds of the winning Club Eight time under slightly windier conditions.

The women had an outstanding race in all aspects and are already setting their goals for next spring based on this weekend's results.