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Men’s Crew Medals at NH Regatta

By Brian K. Richter

The varsity heavyweight crew won silver in the Open Eight and the finished sixth in the Open Four at the New Hampshire Championship Regatta last Saturday. The regatta, held on the Merrimack River in Hookset, NH, also served as the first racing opportunity for some of the freshman men’s squad as well.

Coach Gordon Hamilton told his oarsmen after the race “the results aren’t bad, but we all know we can go a lot faster and we have to do that next weekend.”

The mostly Division II and III schools competing in the regatta proved to be better competition than the Beavers would have liked. Nonetheless, the regatta served as a last test against other crews before the Head of the Charles this weekend, Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 24.

In the Open Eight event MIT’s top heavyweight boat (18:19.8) finished second behind Colby College (18:06.2). The Beaver lightweights (18:45.2) finished sixth and MIT’s freshman eight followed them in seventh (18:56.4). The second varsity heavyweight eight finished ninth in 19:24.

Colby placement confuses MIT

The top eight started second behind a Colby College boat. In the first half of the race the Engineers rowed very well pushing away from the teams they could see behind them and walking through the Colby boat in front of them. In the latter half of the race the Beavers held onto their lead but did not move out any further. What the Engineers did not know was that Colby had switched the placement of their first and second eights, so the faster boat started towards the back of the pack and not directly in front of them.

The lineup for the eight was Amanda Y. Yang ’02 (cox), Christopher J. Penny ’01 (stroke), Brian K. Richter ’02, Eugene Weinstein ’00, Mark H. Jhon ’01, Andrew D. Copeland ’01 (stroke), Alan M. Heins ’02, Igor L. Belakovskiy ’01, Mehlan L. Parker ’01 (bow).

The Beavers could only maintain a cadence of 33 strokes per minute throughout the race. Penny commented “we get the same spacing at 36 [strokes per minute] and we need to row that high to be competitive at the Head [of the Charles].”

At the Head of the Charles, the Engineers get a chance to avenge their loss to Colby this weekend. They also hope to improve against Michigan and Cornell whom they raced two weeks ago. Coach Hamilton is still testing lineups for the Head of the Charles, where the Engineers will compete in the Championship Eights and club Four Events against the world champion United States National Team, the Canadian National Team, and top Division I colleges. The lineups may change from the New Hampshire race to incorporate some of the oarsmen from the Four.

Other boats fare well

In the Open Four, Jorge A. Panduro ’01 (stroke), Andrew A. Lamb ’02, David T. Garcia ’02, Leonid Drozhinin ’02, and Yonathan A. Nuta ’03 (cox) placed sixth in 22:13 according to questionable official results. The unit rowed solidly for their first time together in a racing situation.

A group of freshmen rowers--Benjamin J. Zeskind ’03 (cox), Patrick R. Buckley ’03, Alexander T. Jacobs ’03, Stephen P. Bathurst ’03, Collins P. Ward ’03, Thomas A. Becker ’03, Zachery A. LaValley ’03, Michael J. Carrabine ’03, and Jeffrey T. Loh ’03 (bow) -- also raced in the Open Eights race against the Varsity crew seventh, despite their youth. Becker, who has proven himself to be one of the strongest freshmen, was the only novice rower in the boat; he raced instead of Nicholas K. Abercrombie ’03 who was sick.

That line up sans Becker will race in the Youth Eight event at the Head of the Charles. Only rarely does MIT have enough experienced freshmen to enter that event; this is one of those special years.

“We’re going to race better than we did this weekend in the Head of the Charles,” said Ward.