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Lightweight Men's Crew Posts Two Big Victories

By John Gambino
and Robin Greenwood
Team members

The lightweight men's crew team had a strong showing this past weekend with victories over the Coast Guard Academy and The College of The Holy Cross.

On Saturday, MIT hosted Coast Guard on the Charles River. Racing conditions were fast with a tailwind and slight chop. The first boat (from stern to bow: Joe Irineo '98 cox, Phil Hinz '96 stroke, Irving Birmingham '96, John Bustemonte '98, Erik Balsley '96, Chris Liu '98, John Gambino '96, Garrett Shook '97, and Jean Paul Folch '97 bow) got off to a slow start, falling behind at the early stages of the race. Irineo called a key 20 with about 700 meters down, pulling away from Coast Guard. The boat came away with the victory, winning by 8.5 seconds.

The freshmen boat raced next, but despite being the faster crew, they fell to Coast Guard by nine seconds. The first boat got off to a good start and had a substantial lead, but it lost ground after 800 meters because of technical difficulties. The second freshmen boat came in third, 13 seconds slower than the first MIT boat.

On Sunday, the team traveled to Worcester to race in the cold and rain. The varsity lightweights had not beaten Holy Cross since 1993, but thanks to a superb start, MIT defeated Holy Cross by 1.5 seconds.

Varsity coach Pete Holland said that is was "one of the best races I've seen in 27 years of coaching." MIT gained a boat length lead from the start, a lead that they would never give up, despite numerous surges by a Holy Cross. The varsity boat posted a time of 6:05.0, the fasted time rowed on Sunday in Worcester, including heavyweight races.

The junior varsity lost their race against a mixed boat of lightweight and heavyweight oarsmen from Holy Cross. Although they lost, the boat has strong personnel and is looking ahead to a winning season.

The freshmen boat handily defeated Holy Cross on Sunday. Neither of the two freshmen races were close, with both boats displaying good speed. The first freshman boat defeated the first freshman heavyweight Holy Cross boat, while the second boat defeated the first freshman lightweight Holy Cross boat.

Freshmen coach Greg Barringer said that he was pleased with Sunday's result, since it was the first time ever that both freshmen boats defeated both Holy Cross boats.