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Heavyweight Crew Edges Out Williams To Avenge Past Loss

By Karl Richter
team member

The first varsity heavyweight eight edged out Williams College by 0.35 seconds in Worcester, last Saturday to win a four boat race between MIT, Williams College, Connecticut College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

After the start, the Engineers jumped out to an early lead of a few seats, but the persistent Williams crew would not let MIT just walk away for an easy win.

Williams pressured MIT all the way down the 2,000-meter course, surging several times but never moving ahead of MIT. Crossing the finish line, the Engineers were not entirely sure that they had even won the race. But they did win in a time of 6:04.4. Williams finished in 6:04.75, with Connecticut and WPI well back at 6:13.3 and 6:29 respectively.

This win extends the first heavyweight boat's record to 70 for racing so far this spring. Heavyweight Coach Gordon Hamilton said that the race was "a very nice win for us" and that Williams deserves a lot of credit.

"Over the past few years, Williams has been one of the top two or three Division II schools," Hamilton said. "Williams is always sharp for this race as it is one of their few opportunities to race a Division I school like MIT."

In the first varsity boat from bow to stern were Charlie Able '97, Brian Smith '97, Mads Schmidt '98, Karsten Kallevig '99, Mike Perry '99, Dan Parker '99, Karl Richter '99, Robert Lentz '98, and coxswain Jen Lykens '99.

The varsity race was especially pleasing for team captain Robert Lentz '98 and Brian Smith '97, two veterans of last year's MIT varsity which grudged Williams a 1.4-second victory.

MIT's second varsity raced well and comfortably beat WPI by 10 seconds, while still finishing seven seconds behind a strong Williams boat in a time of 6:44.

The first freshman race was also won by Williams, with WPI in second, and MIT third.

The MIT heavyweights will return to Lake Quinsigamond on May 11 for the Eastern Sprints Championships, which is effectively the Division I National Championships for collegiate crew.

This weekend, the heavyweights will travel to Princeton, N.J., to race Princeton University and Harvard University for the Compton Cup. This race will be a chance for the MIT varsity to test itself against the very highest standard of collegiate rowing in the country.

Princeton is the reigning national champion in the varsity, junior varsity, and freshman eight categories, having swept all three events at the 1996 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships last spring.