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MIT Crews Capture Two Medals in Head of the Charles

By Daniel C. Stevenson
Editor in Chief

Several MIT crews raced in Sunday's Head of the Charles Regatta, bringing home two medals.

"As always, we had a lot of boats entered in many divisions," said Director of CrewStu Schmill '86. "Most of our boats raced well."

The men's heavyweightClub Four, with two freshmen (Karl K. Richter '99 and Daniel P. Parker '99), placed fourth ahead of 52 other crews. The other rowers were Amit Etkin '98 and Damon L. McMillan '98, with coxswain Tom S. Lee '97.

The crew's boat had been doing poorly the week prior to the race, but they were able to pull it together for Sunday, McMillan said. "The start was good," he said. "We slacked off a little bit in the middle, but towards the end we had a good sprint."

The women's Club Eight crew was set to win until they had a boat-stopping collision with the Triton crew. The team finished up fourth, for the Engineers' second medal.

Four crews including the MIT crew were navigating through a bridge when the women's boat collided with Triton, bringing them to a dead stop. The team recovered to miss first place by only five seconds, but the collision was "heartbreaking," saidSarah J. Black '96, team captain.

The crew consisted of Louise L. Wells '96, Black, Lynn I. Yang G, Susan A. Dey '98, Stacey J. Morris '96, Jessica R. Oleson '96, Amy C. Gieffers '97, Linda M. Rosenband '96, and Shruti Sehra '96.

The men's varsity finished 13th in the Championship Four, "a pretty good finish in a very tough field,"Schmill said. The men's Lightweight Eight crew finished 21st.

MIT well-represented

"The MIT crew program has spawned quite a large number of leaders and participants in the world of rowing,"Schmill said. "I saw an almost uncountable number of alumni who were either coaching or rowing or involved in other capacities in the regatta."

Linda Muri '86, a member of the last two world championship women's Lightweight Four crews, came in second in the championship doubles event.

In all, 10 crews from MIT participated: for heavyweight men, the Championship Four, two Club Eights, and two Club Fours; for lightweight men, the Lightweight Eight and a Club Four; for women, a Club Eight and a Lightweight Eight crew; and the graduate women's club competed in the Championship Two.

Schmill in Masterswinning boat

Schmill himself raced in the MastersFour, as coxswain for the Albatros Klagenfurt crew from Austria. The Austrian crew won the race, beating last year's winner, the Leander Boat Club from Ontario.

"They are very experienced rowers and I know the course pretty well, which was an advantage in this race," Schmill said.

The language barrier was not a problem with the crew, Schmill said. "I gathered them together before we went out to reinforce what the major commands I would use would be in English."

"In the heat of battle, I start yelling and things get excited and I wanted to make sure they would be clear on what was going on," he said. "It worked out great -- they were very professional about their rowing, they just pulled hard and let me steer."