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Heavyweight Crew Wins Open Four Race in Ohio

By Brian Kelleher Richter


The MIT varsity heavyweight crew team returned to Boston with gold medals in-hand after winning the Open Fours event at the Head of the Ohio regatta in Pittsburgh last Saturday. The Beavers also competed in an Open Eights race and a 500 meter sprint in an Eight. The Head of the Ohio is the second largest head-race in the United States, surpassed only by the Head of the Charles in number of competitors.

The Open Four event was the Beaver’s second race of the day. The team’s top eight rowers split into two fours after hot-seating from the eights sprint.

Coach Gordon Hamilton was very pleased with the effort. “It was gratifying to finally capture the trophy, having come in second once and third numerous times.” said Hamilton.

The race marked the first time the members of the winning four--Nicholas K. Abercrombie ’03 (stroke), Joshua G. Kubit ’03, Collins P. Ward ’03, Brian K. Richter ’02, and Jonathan L. Berkow ’03 (cox)--had rowed together in a four all fall. It was also the Beaver’s first race of the season. MIT (15:35) pounded out a stunning twenty-six second margin over second-place University of Pittsburgh (16:01), who was rowing on their home course.

MIT’s second four--Matthew G. Richards ’04, Matthew C. Waldon ’03, Michel A. Rbeiz ’04, Alan M. Heins ’02, Sandra M. Chung ’04 (cox)--managed to finish sixth in the field of seventeen boats, despite several lingering colds. They finished only one-minute behind the winning four in a time of 16:35.

MIT did not fare as well in the Open Eight head race, which they hot-seated into immediately after the fours race. The Beavers finished tenth out of eleven crews in that race, due in part to exhaustion from the previous race and also missing confusion stemming from missing the official start-time. The team’s focus at the regatta, however, was on the Open Four, as they plan to make that the priority boat for the upcoming Head of the Charles regatta.

The Beaver Crew now looks forward to the New Hampshire State Championships this coming weekend as their final preparation before the Head of the Charles in two weeks.

“My immediate goal and that of my boat is to win a medal in the Championship Four event at the Head of the Charles,” Kubit said.