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Rowers Succeed in Crash B World Indoor Championships

By Gordon Hamilton
Team Coach

Two MIT rowers reached the finals of their events at Sunday's CRASH-B regatta, the World Indoor Rowing Championships. Amy Gieffers '97 won a bronze medal in the lightweight women's event, while Toby Ayer '96 finished fifth in the collegiate heavyweight men's event.

Held at Harvard University's indoor track facility, the CRASH-B is the largest ergometer, or rowing machine, regatta in the world. It attracts the best US collegiate oarspeople, recreational rowers in a number of age categories, and many international competitors.

All competitors row 2000 meters on the ergometer. Heats for the sixteen events took place throughout the morning; the eight best times in each event qualified for the afternoon finals.

Gieffers rowed a 7:33 in her heat, somewhat slower than her previous best, but still qualified for the lightweight final.

The eight finalists' machines were connected to computer monitors which depicted the competitors as virtual boats racing each other down a 2000-meter course.

Gieffers rowed a strong race, often getting to second place. She finished third with a time of 7:25.8, earning a bronze medal and an eighth-place rank overall for lightweight women.

Ayer rowed his heat in 6:05.1, his best time ever, placing him in the collegiate heavyweight final. Ayer was tied for third place just past the 1000m mark, but finished fifth with 6:05.2, ten seconds behind the winning time.

Based on the results of this and the International finals, he was given a rank of eleventh out of 290.

In the same event, Steve Morales '96 placed 55th with a score of 6:18.3, with Adam Cotner '96 right behind him in 56th place with 6:18.4.

Also from the varsity heavyweights: Brian Smith '97 was 68th (6:19.7), Chris Putnam '96 was 97th (6:23.9), Robert Lentz '98 was 102nd (6:29.6), Victor van Berkel '96 was 129th (6:27.0), and Marc Carlin '96 was 156th (6:37.3).

Alumnus Pete Peterson '58 won a silver medal, and Professor Hartley Rogers Jr. finished fifth, in their respective veteran men's events.

Karen Chenausky '89 placed 19th in the International Women with a time of 7:37. MIT freshmen lightweight coach Greg Barringer won a silver in the Master's Men.

This was the first time that MIT varsity rowers had qualified for the CRASH-B finals. It places them decisively among the best college teams in the country.