Head of the CharlesBy Daniel C. Stevenson
After a one-year hiatus, the Head of the Charles Regatta returned to Cambridge this past weekend, bringing 300,000 people to watch 5,600 rowers from around the world.
MIT crews, many alumni, and Professor Hartley Rogers, Jr. raced more than 15 boats in nine events and secured respectable placings across the board.
Most noteworthy, Director of Crew Stu Schmill '86 coxed the winning Women's Lightweight Eight crew and Rogers placed second in the Senior Veteran Singles race.
The race, the 33rd annual running of the world's largest regatta, was held on both Saturday and Sunday after last year's Sunday-only race was cancelled because of rain and high winds. The weather was overcast and cool for both days.
The course followed a difficult and twisting 3.2-mile stretch of the Charles River from the Boston University Bridge to just upstream of the Eliot Bridge.
MIT crews raced in club and championship events. The club events are less competitive and are for crews that haven't placed high in previous regattas. Additionally, young (under 20) and veteran (over 60) rowers have separate events.
Races are listed in chronological order. Placings and times are summarized in the accompanying box.Boats left at 15-second intervals, so crews couldn't tell their placings until after all boats had finished.
Women's Club Four
The first race of the regatta was the women's Club Four at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The Sloan CrewClub finished in 11th place out of 66 at 19:28.87, less than one second behind the 9th and 10th place finishers and 46seconds out of first. Katharine Compton G, Kristin Nixon G, Laura Venditti G, Shana Sturla G, and Mary Sullivan G (cox)rowed for Sloan.
The Sloan Crew Club is a graduate student club separate from the intercollegiate program. The club re-emerged a few years ago and is mainly made up of Sloan School of Management students.
Also in the Club Four, the women's varsity crew came in 19th, beating UNH by half a second at 19:51.66 with Betty Tsai '99, Zoe Teegarden '98, Katherine Koch '00, Emily Hanna '00, and Katy Croff '00 (cox).
Men's Club Four, Club Eight
In the men's club events on Saturday, the heavyweight second varsity crews rowed to respectable placings among the best clubs in the country.
The heavyweight second varsity four placed 21st out of 57 teams in the Club Four competition. At 17:46.65 they were just half a second behind the next boat. Neal Elvin G, Eugene Vaynshteyn '00, Shaun Meredith G, and Dan Dunn '94 rowed, with coxswain Eileen Liu '98.
The eight placed 38th out of 69 in the 3 p.m. Club Eight competition, at 15:57.63. The boat included Mike Dewberry '00, Bernard Asare G, Duane Dreger '99, Greg Bollrud '99, Marc Berte '99, Jeb Keiper '99, G. Carrilio G, Amro Farid '99, and John O'Quinn '98 (cox).
Also in the Club Eight, the Sloan Crew Club placed 50th, at 16:14.22, with Peter Milt G, Nate Walsh G, Michael Harms G, Philip Bradley G, Dominick Layfield G, Ben Evans G, Peter Csatorday G, Andrew K. Swiecki G, and Kenway Lovie G (cox).
The lightweight crew eight came in 60th, at 16:41.46 with Jeremy Hui '00, Torrey Radcliffe G, David Manz '00, Ben Boehm '99, Marc Moesse '00, Steven Huang '99, and Stuart Jackson '00 (cox).
Rogers, who is 71, placed second of 17 in the men's Senior Veteran Singles (over 70), at 23:00.94. The race, at 8:30 a.m., was the first on Sunday. Rogers, who was listed as a "rower to watch" by the regatta committee, has raced in the regatta for 29 years, almost since its inception.
Rogers said he'd been working on his technique this year and had made a "big difference" in his speed. Rogers, who didn't row competitively until he was 40, learned to row when he spent a year at Cambridge University in England during his undergraduate years at Yale University.
Men's Youth Eight
The MIT freshman eight, composed of heavyweight and lightweight freshmen who had prior rowing experience before coming to MIT, placed 20th of 33in the men's Youth Eight, at 16:36.07. The boat included Andy Berkheimer '01, Daniel Park '01, Elizabeth March '01, Richard Hanna '01, Cameron Wheeler '01, Mark Jhon '01, James Morash '01, Kevin Schmidt '01, and Melahn Parker '01 (cox).
Having enough talented freshmen to form the first Youth Eight boat in more than 15 years "bodes very well" for upcoming crew seasons, Schmill said. "I'm very excited about these freshmen."
Men's Lightweight Four, Eight
The lightweight men's varsity crew placed 23rd of 29, at 18:05.82 with Jean-Paul Folch '98, Jorge Broggio '98, Shawn Hwang '99, Sahar Aminipour '00, and Jeffrey Munro '99 (cox).
The lightweight men's varsity eight placed 13th of 32, at 15:23.52, ranking them among the top college finishers in that race. The boat finished less than a second ahead of rival Cornell University and included Garrett Shook G, Eric Bevan '99, Seth Newburg '00, Kris Kendall '98, Daniel Frisk '99, Joseph Irineo '98, Joel Johnson '98, and Paul Oppold '99 (cox).
Women's Lightweight Eight
Schmill was the coxswain for the first-place women's Lightweight Eight boat from Arco Training Center, which trains the members of the U.S. National Team. All the rowers were from the 1997 national team, including three-time medal winner Linda Muri '85.
Schmill's boat finished in 16:15.20, just 0.4 seconds behind the course record.
Schmill said he is very familiar with the challenging Charles course because he is on the river every day.
The course is difficult because there are many sharp turns and bridges, Schmill said. Bridges can only fit a certain number of crews, so the traffic flow is congested.
On Saturday, aDuke University crew came to close to the Eliot Bridge near the finish line and all the oars on one side were snapped off.
Men's Championship Doubles
Brad Layton '92, also a member of the national team, rowed in the Championship Doubles for the Potomac Boat Club and finished in sixth at 16:55.73.
The final MIT graduate on the national team, Steve Tucker '91, didn't row in the regatta.
Women's Championship Four
The women's varsity crew came in 23rd of 34, at 19:46.66 with Margo Harbaugh '98, Mariah Luff '99, Susan Dey '98, Kristin Jugenheimer '99, and Heidi Chang '98 (cox).
Men's Championship Eight
The varsity heavyweight eight rowed to a solid 23rd of 43 at 15:25.39 in Sunday afternoon's Championship Eight race.
The event was won by the world-champion U.S. National Team in a time of 13:58.99.
Collegiately, the Beaver eight finished 13th among Division I and II schools, and bested fellow Division I crews from Navy, Rutgers, and Dartmouth. The varsity heavyweights also posted times faster than crews from the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, the University of New Hampshire, George Washington University, and Northwestern University.
The heavyweight first boat included Shane Wu '99, Solar Olugebefola '99, Mike Salamina '00, Matt Coates '98, Mike Perry '99, Karsten Kallevig '99, Karl Richter '99, Dan Parker '99, and Jen Lykens '99 (cox).
The crew was pleased that they were able to improve on their previous two races this season and put together a solid race from start to finish. "We were able to keep our focus throughout the race," Richter said.
Coach Gordon Hamilton said he was pleased with the boat's performance and predicted that "we will be much more competitive among our Division I rivals in the spring."
Robert Lentz contributed to the reporting in this article.