Continuing Trend, Freshmen Crew Dominant while Varsity FaltersBy Brian Kelleher Richter
After last weekend’s races, a pretty clear trend has emerged for the heavyweight crews this season: the freshmen dominate their races, while the varsity struggles to come up short. The freshmen improved their record to 5-0 while the varsity fell to 1-3.
On Saturday, the Beavers traveled to Worcester where they faced Williams College, Connecticut College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. On Sunday, the heavyweights raced Boston College at home.
MIT’s varsity attempted to add speed by juggling the line-up within their boat. As the race against Williams proceeded, it became evident that the Engineers hadn’t fully learn their lesson from last week’s races in New York. The Beaver’s (6:44.8) shortened their strokes and caved into Williams (6:38.2) pressure with only about 500 meters left; MIT, however, managed to stay well ahead of Connecticut College (6:59.3).
The second varsity eights race was similar, as were the results. MIT’s second varsity four (8:14), remained undefeated, crushing WPI (8:46).
Freshmen dominate yet again
The first freshmen boat, which also juggled line-ups between their first and second eights, showed their prowess by pulling away at the start and crossing the finish line nearly six boat-lengths ahead of the next boat. MIT also rowed the race at a very low cadence as they weren’t pressured.
MIT finished in 6:56.7, WPI in 7:14.6, Williams in 7:15.8 and Conn. College in 7:46.7. The second freshmen also handily defeated WPI.
The results of Sunday’s racing against Boston College were very similar to Saturday’s, except for the margins. The varsity managed a much more composed race than on Sunday and did not shorten up. They did, however, blow a near-length lead over BC (6:18.7) to finish three seconds back in 6:21.8. Coach Gordon Hamilton, told his crew that at least they could be proud of how they raced against Boston College, even if they did not come up with a victory they desperately wanted.
MIT’s boat speed throughout the race was very consistent, never really dropping off, as it has in other races this season. MIT’s second varsity eight raced BC’s varsity lightweight boat and finished far behind.
In the freshmen races against BC (6:29.2), the first freshmen (6:18.7) saw their closest margin yet, although they still won by several boat-lengths.
The second freshmen (6:41.8) pulled out a 20 second victory against their BC (7:01) counterparts.
This Saturday MIT faces No. 4 ranked Princeton and No. 5 ranked Harvard at home on the Charles. The varsity looks forward to the race as a chance to row a solid race against very tough competition in preparation for the best finish they can muster at their league championship several weeks from now.
The freshmen are looking towards the race as an opportunity to prove that they have arrived and to prove that they can race with the best crews in the nation.
The freshmen are also hoping to show the rowing world that MIT will remain competitive in future years. Related stories: