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Boston Weather: 75.0°F | Fair

Lightweights Unsuccessful In Attempt to Upset Harvard

By Robin Greenwood
Team member

Despite good weather and extremely fast racing conditions, varsity lightweight crew lost to defending national champion Harvard University and Dartmouth College Saturday, although it defeated Holy Cross College for the second consecutive week.

Harvard won with a time of 5:52, beating out Dartmouth by the relatively narrow margin of two seconds. MIT came in third with 6:06, while Holy Cross crossed the line three seconds later, finishing the race in 6:09.

The varsity team - made up of Andy Woo '97 cox, Phil Heinz '96, Irving Burmingham '96, John Bustamante '98, Erik Balsley '96, Chris Liu '98, Paolo Sammarco G, Garrett Shook '97, and Jean Paul Folk '97 - got off to a good start, but slowly lost a hard-earned lead over the course of the rest of the race.

The junior varsity also raced against Harvard and Dartmouth Saturday. Like the varsity, the JV crew had a strong start, but later lost the advantage. It rowed a fast first 500 meters but lost ground during the rest of the race and was beaten in the end.

The freshmen raced next, but were also unsuccessful in their bid for what would have been the biggest upset ever in collegiate racing.

The third varsity four raced last as racing conditions worsened. The four hadn't had much time to practice together, and finished just behind the Dartmouth and Harvard crews.

Next weekend is perhaps the most important race of the season, as the lightweights head to Ithaca to race Cornell and Columbia Universities on Saturday and then to West Point Academy on Sunday to race Army.

"For MIT to be taken seriously as an Eastern Sprints contender, we have to defeat Cornell and Columbia on Saturday," said Assistant Coach Vito Provalo.