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Kleiss Places Second In USCSA Championships

By Roger Crosley

Jessica Kleiss ’00 recently placed second in the women’s 10K freestyle at the U.S. Collegiate Skiing Association (USCSA) Championships at Mamouth Lakes, CA. Kleiss covered the distance in 41:29.20 to lead MIT to a sixth place finish in the event. As a team the nordic skiers won the USCSA regional regular season and Championship titles. Sam Coradetti ’02 won the men’s 10K freestyle by 45 seconds at the championship meet. Coradetti also placed second in the 10K classic race.

Both the men’s and women’s fencing teams won their respective New England Championships. The Women’s team tied Tufts for first at the championship. Epieist Nora Szasz ’99 won the title in her event. Brian Bower ’99 won the individual sabre title. Four Engineers qualified for the NCAA Championships which will be held this coming weekend at Brandeis University. Szasz and Bower will be joined by Aimee Wiltz ’99 in the women’s foil and Matt Dupplesie ’99 in the epie.

Goalie John Zehren ’99 (3.77 goals against average, .910 save percentage) and forward John Rae ’99 (3 goals, 5 assists) were each named to the honorable mention All-Tournament team of the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division II Championships. Zehren and Rae helped lead the team to nationals where the Engineers went 1-2 in pool play.

The rifle team recently won the Mid-Atlantic Conference championship in varsity rifle by defeating New York Maritime Academy 2,140-2040. The Engineers took second in air rifle dropping a tight 1377-1407 decision to Penn State University.

The women’s basketball team finished with an astonishing 20-8 record, the most successful season in the history of the program. Several school records were broken along the way. The team became the first MIT basketball team ever (men or women) to win 20 games. The Engineers’ 20-8 record also gave the team the best women’s basketball winning percentage in Institute history (.714). MIT qualified for the Eastern College Athletic Conference New England Division III Championship Tournament for the first time in the history of the program. Fourth seeded MIT marched to the finals by defeating fifth seeded Eastern Connecticut State University and number one seed Springfield College. The season came to a disappointing end with an eight point loss to the second seeded Western Connecticut State University.

Gymnast Sonja Ellefson ’01 won the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III all-around championship with an Institute and championship record score of 38.125. Ellefson also took the individual title in the floor exercise. Ellefson now holds MIT records in each of the four events: 9.575 on the vault, 9.625 on the uneven bars, 9.6 on the balance beam, and a 9.775 on the floor exercise. Both Ellefson and Rachel Van Buren ’99 have qualified for the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association Championship which will be held this coming weekend at Gustavus Adolphus College in Wisconsin. Ellefson is currently ranked 11th in the region for qualification to the NCAA Division I regional meet to be held at Penn State University in April, and is ninth ranked by the US Collegiate Gymnastics Association.

The men’s and women’s indoor track and field squads recently completed very successful seasons. The men’s team finished in second place in the New England Division III Championships, while the women finished ninth out of 27 teams in the New England Division III meet. This was the first year that the women’s team has entered the season as a varsity team. In the following week the women’s team placed fifth of 44 teams at the ECAC Division III Championships. Leading the charge was the pole vault contingent, which swept the first three places in the meet. Lila French ’99 defeated the other 22 competitors in the event with a vault of 10’6”.

Dierdre Dunn ’99 of the swim team recently set an MIT record and captured the New England Division III championship in the 100 yard individual medley. Dunn covered the distance in a school record time of 1:02.29. Liz Krams ’00 also set a school record of 29.36 in the 50 backstroke at the championships. MIT finished eighth at the meet. It is the second best finish ever for the women’s team in the New Englands.

In the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Swimming and Diving Championships the women’s team finished fourth of nine teams and the men finished second of seven. Individual champions for the Engineers were Dunn in the 50 freestyle Grant Kristofek ’02 in the 1,650 yard free. The women’s 200 yard medley relay team also captured the conference title. Dunn anchored the relay which also consisted of Krams, Jen Navarro ’00 and Erica Fuchs ’99.

Men’s gymnast J.C. Olsson ’00 set the MIT record in the All-Around. In a February meet against the University of Vermont, Olsson scored 50.85 to break his own record set in a 1998 meet also against Vermont. The former record was 50.00.

Setter Minpoint Chien ’00 was recently named to the All-Tournament team at the Roger Williams University Volleyball Invitational. MIT advanced to the semi-finals of the tournament where the Engineers dropped a four set match to eventual champion SUNY New Paltz.

The MIT women’s ice hockey team completed its first season as a varsity program with an 8-6-1 record.