Men’s ResultsBy Brian K. Richter
This year’s Head of the Charles Regatta proved to be both disappointing and encouraging for the MIT men’s crew teams. The varsity heavyweights finished in 16:46.73 for a very low 37th place out of 46 crews in the Championship Eights event after a sub par race, in the world’s most competitive head race. The lightweights also finished a low 19th of 23 with 16:37.99. MIT’s freshmen squad, however, was the 4th fastest college eight in its event.
The freshmen eight -- Benjamin J. Zeskind ’03 (cox), Patrick R. Buckley ’03 (stroke), Alexander T. Jacobs ’03, Stephen P. Bathurst ’03, Collins P. Ward ’03, Nicholas K. Abercrombie ’03, Zachery A. LaValley ’03, Michael J. Carrabine ’03, and Jeffery T. Loh ’03 (bow) -- proved to be the highlight of Saturday’s racing for the MIT men. This was only the second time in the last twenty years that MIT has had enough experienced freshmen to enter a competitive boat in the Head of the Charles, which made their performance even more special.
The eight freshmen rowed a very solid race. They placed higher than freshmen league competition from Brown and Princeton Universities; those schools’ varsity squads finished 1st and 2nd among college crews in the Championship Eight event, respectively. They also beat a Syracuse University program that has a number of athletes on scholarship. MIT finished in 16:51; Harvard freshmen won the event in 15:45 followed by Yale in 15:57.
The varsity crew -- 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, Andrew A. Lamb ’02, Igor L. Belakovskiy ’01, Mehlan L. Parker ’01 (bow) -- unfortunately did not fare as well. Starting in the 17th position that last year’s squad earned, this year’s Beavers could not match last year’s performance and finished 20 places back.
The race started off well for the Engineers but took several turns for the worse. From the start through the end of the Magazine Beach the Beavers rowed solidly according to their race plan and were moving closer to the Cornell University boat that started in front of them. Then one of the oarsmen caught a crab (lost control of his oar and let it get caught next to the boat). The boat recovered quickly from the mishaps and only lost approximately a boat length on the crews around them but the race wasn’t the same again.
Through the rest of the race the MIT crew allowed three boats to pass them and ended up with boats next to them at the crucial Weeks and Eliot Bridge turns. This forced the Beavers to swing wide around the river bends and lose valuable seconds in the race.
Coach Gordon Hamilton told his crew they should be disappointed but not discouraged with the result. He also thinks this will give the Beavers something to work toward at the Foot of the Charles and throughout the winner.
MIT’s freshman squad races again on the Charles this Saturday in the MIT Invitational, hoping to further prove their ability to perform well. The entire men’s crew team will race in the Foot of the Charles Regatta on November 20. Both races start at the MIT Boathouse and finish by the Harvard Boathouse.