Men's Varsity Four Takes Second at Foot of CharlesBy Karl Richter
The men's crew team produced MIT's best ever result at the Foot of the Charles, Saturday. The MIT varsity fours finished second out of 49 teams behind Harvard in the largest fours race in the world.
Harvard finished the upstream course which starts from the MIT Pierce Boathouse and ends at the Harvard Weld Boathouse in 13:34.8 to take first place. The Engineers' heavyweights followed closely with a time of 13:41.3, while the Harvard Lightweights placed third in 13:45.5. Northeastern University and Dartmouth College rounded out the top five places.
The heavyweight varsity four first boat included Matt Klicka '99 at cox, Daniel P. Parker '99 at bow, Michael M. Perry '99, Christopher J. Penny '01, and Karl K. Richter '99 at stroke. The three senior oarsmen in this boat were part of the 1997 first varsity four that produced the school's previous best-ever finish of sixth place.
The Engineers started as the fourth seed behind Boston University and just ahead of Dartmouth in the starting order. Throughout the race, MIT worked to reel in the Boston University boat, which had started 28 seconds ahead of them. In the last ten strokes, the Engineers nearly pushed their bow past the Boston University boat, securing a finish ahead the third seeded team.
Heavyweight Coach Gordon Hamilton was quite pleased with the results, commenting, "We have never finished higher than sixth, so this is great!"
While MIT's top heavyweight boat performed their best ever in this regatta, the performances of the lower boats also demonstrated an improved depth in the squad. Hamilton added that "the second and third boats were very competitive and should get much better."
MIT's second and third varsity fours finished the race just two seconds apart in 22nd place and 24th place respectively. The second four was coxed by Christina E. Carvey '99 and included Solar Olugebefola '99 at bow, Andrew D. Copeland '01, Michael J. Salamina '00, and Jeb E. Keiper '99 at stroke. The 3rd Four included Julie J. Hong '02 at cox, Mark H. Jhon '01 at bow, Eugene Weinstein '00, Guilherme Carrilho G, and Damon L. McMillan '00 at stroke.
MIT's fourth boat did not lag far behind with a 28th place 14:54 finish. Bob Broderick '99, Gregory A. Bollrud '99, Melahn L. Parker '01, Ben D. Ackerman G, and Marc V. Berte '99 finished the race ahead of first varsity boats of Boston College, University of Massachusetts, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and also ahead of the Dartmouth third boat and the Northeastern fourth boat.
"The attitude of the entire squad has been very positive this fall. I am looking forward to one of the best heavyweight eight's in MIT's long history," Coach Hamilton said.
While the Varsity teams raced fours, the freshmen squads raced eights at the Foot of the Charles. MIT's top freshman eight rowed a technically sound race to finish in seventh place.
The Foot of the Charles marks the end of the fall season of rowing for MIT. The heavyweights race next on January 16 in Miami, Florida, with a scrimmage against the University of Miami after a two week training session. The spring sprints season kicks off on April 3 when the Engineers race Columbia University on the Harlem River and attempt to win back the Alumni Cup.