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Women's Crew Sweeps New Eights; Varsity Defeats UNH Soundly

By Susan Dey
team member

On Sunday, the women's crew teams again came away with victories in their races against the University of New Hampshire here on the Charles River. That race followed strong wins against four teams in Worcester on April 20.

The first varsity boat (coxswain Shruti Sehra '96, stroke Amy Gieffers '97, Sarah Black '96, Samantha Lavery '98, Linda Rosenband '96, Susan Dey '98, Stacy Morris '96, Judy Ascano '96, and bowman Lara Ivey '96) soundly defeated the UNH crew Sunday.

Rough water and strong headwinds made for unsavory racing conditions. The UNH boat struggled against the weather, but the MIT crew handled it well, finishing with open water.

The junior varsity race was broken into fours: coxswain Margo Harbaugh '98, stroke Cindy Fein '97, Arlene Frech '97, and Sarah Folscroft '98, and bowman Jessica West '98 in the first; coxswain Jen Bautista '98, stroke Shelly Sakiyama '96, Joanne Mikkelson '96, Beth Sebern '97, and bowman Heidi Chang '98 in the second.

The rough conditions made for a slow race in the fours but the crews finished well. The second four finished ahead of UNH while the first four were slightly behind UNH in their race.

The novice crews were not quite as successful. The first novice boat (coxswain Rainuka Gupta '99, stroke Kristin Juggenheimer '99, Youjeong Kim '98, Tyra Rivkin '99, Kari Bingen '99, Bethany Rogers '97, Shannon Mitchell '99, Shawdee Eshghi '99, and bowman Mariah Luff '99) rowed a hard but losing race.

The second novice boat (coxswain Jennifer Lykens '99, stroke Megan Reese '99, Kelly Druzisky '99, Sabina Ma '99, Alicia Hardy '99, Peggy Anderson '99, Meredith Otterson '99, Sarah Anderson '99, and bowman Jesse Cochrane '99) was victorious, edging past the UNH boat to cross the line a close tenth of a second ahead.

UNH had no third novice boat, so the novice four (coxswain Rainuka Gupta '99, stroke Christine Kornylak '99, Julie Devine '99, and Katie Spayde '99, and bowman Brenda Haendler '99) raced against a four from Radcliffe College. Although it held close to the Radcliffe four during the first 500 meters of the race, the boat was unable to come away with a win.

This Sunday also marked a special occasion for the women's crew team: A new boat was christened for the novice squad. Crew alumnae Anne McKinnon '75, for whom the boat is named, traveled to Boston with her family for the event. After the ceremony she rowed stroke in the new boat for a short voyage up the river.

All boats win in Worcester

Every boat on both the varsity and novice women's crew squads came away with a victory in the New Eights Championships April 20. The teams travelled to Worcester to race Wellesley College, Mount Holyoke College, Clark University, and Smith College on Lake Quinsigamond.

Wellesley held close to the first varsity eight for the first half of their race but fell to the MIT crew's powerful second-half execution and strong sprint. The junior varsity boat also had a successful race, topping second place Mount Holyoke by a full 10 seconds. The novice crews won handily as well, despite increasingly strong headwinds.

This Saturday the women's crew team will be traveling back to Worcester to compete in the New Englands competition. The outlook for these races is good since the team has been picking up speed throughout the season and is confident they will be able to bring home gold medals.