Heavies Fall Flat in Cochrane CupBy Dan Dunn
The varsity heavyweight crew suffered a disappointing loss to Dartmouth and Wisconsin on Saturday in the Cochrane Cup. MIT has not won the race for several years, and many had hoped that even if this was not the year, that at least MIT would be in the thick of the race.
But they were not. The race was rowed in a gusty crosswind that strengthened through the day. While all boats were roughly even coming off the start, with MIT holding a slight edge, Dartmouth and Wisconsin very quickly pulled even and began to pull away from MIT.
MIT rowed farthest from the other two teams. Through the first 500 meters of the race, Dartmouth and Wisconsin were neck and neck and right next to each other, while MIT was falling behind, and in a lane more than 35 feet away from the other crews.
The distance proved to be a problem. "It's difficult to maintain intensity when you lose all contact with the other crews," said Neeraj Gupta G, last year's varsity coxswain. "Dartmouth and Wisconsin were just feeding off each other's energy, while our boat had to motivate itself. Even so, they should have raced it a lot better."
MIT continued to fall away through the rest of the race. They mounted a charge over the last 500 meters, but they had fallen so far back that they were never a threat.
Meanwhile Wisconsin took the lead and extended it from 500 to 1500 meters. At one point, they had a lead of seven seats. The last 500, however, belonged to Dartmouth and its sprint: Dartmouth's eight repeatedly took up the stroke rating and roared through Wisconsin to take a six-seat lead over the finish line with a time of 6:10.2.
Wisconsin finished with 6:12.5; MIT with 6:22.1.
"I was quite disappointed," said Coach Gordon Hamilton. "I think we came to this race pretty flat, and it showed."
JV fares better
The second boat's race was far more exciting, and met with a significantly better result. While Wisconsin handily won the race, MIT came out ahead of Dartmouth.
Off the start, all boats were even. They scrapped their way through the first 700 meters without anyone able to gain an advantage. The lead changed repeatedly, with the lead crew never more than two seats ahead of the last.
From the 700-meter mark to the midpoint at the Harvard Bridge, Wisconsin began to pull away from the other two boats. At that point, MIT made a big push. It was not enough to catch Wisconsin, but was enough to take a three-seat advantage over Dartmouth.
Over the remainder of the race, MIT stretched its lead to as many as five seats. Dartmouth made a determined charge with 200 meters left, and pulled almost even. But in an exciting finale, MIT stopped Dartmouth's move and crossed the line at 6:15.2, 1.9 seconds over Dartmouth and 6.5 behind Wisconsin.
The victory has a significant effect on the second boat's seeding at the Eastern Sprints. MIT will be ranked above Dartmouth and the crews below it. With the second-place finish they become part of the next highest tier of competitors, and will have a much stronger chance of advancing to the finals.
The freshmen lost to a strong Wisconsin crew, but easily beat Dartmouth. The race started with the excitement of a collision. The wind, which had strengthened through the day, had become a significant factor by 11 a.m. Just before the start a gust blew the boats off course. Within five strokes MIT and Wisconsin collided: The referee recalled the race and ran it again.
In the second attempt, Wisconsin jumped out to an early lead. While MIT and Dartmouth both made charges, Wisconsin easily held off to win the race. At 500 meters, MIT had a half-length lead over Dartmouth; after 1000, MIT had broken free of Dartmouth and held their open water lead to the finish line. MIT's time was 6:37.6, 4.8 seconds over Dartmouth and 12.1 seconds behind Wisconsin.
"I thought there were some good parts of that race, but there are still a lot of technical issues to be worked out," said freshman coach Stu Schmill '86.
The second freshmen raced Dartmouth's second freshman and the MIT third lightweight freshmen; the heavyweight boat lost to Dartmouth by 32 seconds and beat the lightweight boat.Copyright 19,95, The Tech. All rights reserved.
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Volume 115, Number 24.
This story appeared on page 16.
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