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Varsity Lightweights Destroy Army Crew

By Christopher Liu
Team Member

The men's lightweight crew team opened its spring season last Saturday by racing against Army's heavyweights at West Point. The 2000 meter long races were conducted on a stretch of the Hudson river which runs along the boundary of the academy.

The varsity squad raced first, facing a stiff headwind as well as a stiff head current. The engineers came off the starting line fast and aggressive, moving out to a six seat lead within 20 strokes. However, the powerful Army heavyweights refused to be shut out early and cut down MIT's lead to two seats over the first 500 meters of the race. At the 600 meter mark, MIT made a big move and stretched their lead to a full length.

The Army heavyweights were unable to respond to this acceleration and slowly dropped back over the middle 1000 meters. MIT sealed its victory in the final sprint, finishing the race in 6:53.6, almost 9 seconds ahead of Army (7:02.3). The Varsity lineup consisted of (from bow to stern) Kris Kendall '98, Dan Frisk '99, Eric Bevan '00, Paul Oppold '99, Joel Johnson '98, Chris Liu '98, Seth Newburg '00, Garrett Shook G, and Joe Irineo '98 at coxswain.

The junior varsity squad raced well but unfortunately were overpowered by the Army heavyweight JV team. Coach Stu Schmill commented that they had raced "the best of all our crews," but their technique was not enough to carry them to victory. The Army crew pulled away slowly from MIT, and the Engineers were unable to mount a counter move in the increasingly choppy conditions.

Despite a strong race and a good effort, they finished two and a half lengths down on Army. The junior varsity lineup comprised of Kartik Mani '00, Steve Huang '99, Stu Jackson '00, Ben Boehm '99, David Manz '00, Marc Moesse '00, Jeremy Hui '00, Shawn Hwang '99, and Sahar Aminipour '00 at coxswain. The final times were Army in 7:46.1 and MIT in 7:54.6.

The freshman squad raced well against Army. For many of the freshmen, this was their first sprint race. Although the freshman had a poor start, finishing the first 500 meters down six seats, they held their composure and made a big move through the middle 1000 meters. MIT pulled even with Army and then moved away quickly. At the 1500 meter mark, MIT was leading by several lengths of open water.

The freshman had trouble finishing the race in their final sprint, but their accumulated lead allowed them breathing room and a secure victory over Army. The freshmen finished the race in 7:56.3, 21 seconds ahead of the Army freshmen. The Frosh lineup was made up of Kevin Chao '01, Adam Reynolds '01, Stephen Carr '01, Lou Nervegna '01, Eric Ferriera '00, Andy Berkheimer '01, Rich Hanna '01, Kevin Schmidt '01, and Melissa Light '01 at coxswain.

This weekend the squads will race against Yale on Saturday morning. Yale is considered to be the fastest crew in the Eastern Sprints League at this point in the season, so all the boats look forward to facing tough opponents.

Saturday is also a big day for the lightweights because a new shell is being dedicated for them. The new boat will bear the name of MIT lightweight alumni Thomas W. Folger '48. Folger made a generous donation to the crew team allowing the purchase of a new shell for the varsity lightweights. Folger and many of his teammates will be at the boathouse for the ceremony, which is scheduled for 10 a.m.