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Crews Capture Medals at New Hampshire

By Kevin R. Lang

TEAM MEMBER

MIT’s Men’s Heavyweight crews turned in strong performances Saturday at the New Hampshire Championships Regatta, with two novice crews racing to gold medals to lead the charge.

The first novice eight took gold in its division with a 15:41.84 time in the 2.6 mile head race down the Merrimack River, beating the first novice boat from Colby College by more than 20 seconds. The MIT boat featured Michael P. Whitaker ’06, Kieran F. Culligan ’06, Gregor B. Cadman ’06, Erik M. Milosevic ’06, Christopher R. Rhodes ’06, James S. Otten ’06, John J. Bergin ’06, and Miles R. Colman ’05, with coxswain Mabel Y. Feng ’06.

The second eight finished 11th in the novice division in 18:49.82, with rowers Bryan Shieh ’06, CMI exchange student Chris Gee, Brian C. Keegan ’06, Nicholas A. Allard ’06, Edward M. Helvenston ’06, CMI student Pravin Bagree, Brian T. Neltner ’05, and Igor A. Sylvester ’06, along with coxswain Laura A. Hajj ’06.

WPI edges out varsity for bronze

The varsity eight raced to a strong fourth place finish in the open division, only 2.31 seconds behind bronze medal winner Worcester Polytechnic Institute. MIT started the race at the head of the field, leaving a substantial gap between them and the next boat, University of Vermont, but were unable to hold the lead.

“I thought that we raced rather well, especially considering we were about 30 seconds ahead of the crew behind us with nobody ahead of us,” said Coach Gordon Hamilton. "Our speeds were quite decent and I know we had some more to give.”

The Merrimack was dead calm throughout the day of racing, although cold temperatures and light but steady rain did not make for completely ideal conditions. “The water was perfect for rowing and I really enjoyed the trip,” said Filip Antich ’03. “I only regret that we missed a medal due to the unfortunate starting order ... we didn’t start together with the best crews on the river.”

The varsity eight will look to improve on their performance tomorrow in the Head of the Charles Regatta, with the same lineup: coxswain Craig J. Rothman ’05, captain R. Andy Hill ’05, Stephen P. Bathurst ’03, John J. Cooley ’05, Jacob J. Ornelas ’05, Antich, Kevin R. Lang G, CMI exchange student Johannes Schiff, and Frederick D. Wang ’05 racing in the collegiate eights division. MIT has high hopes for a medal, and the varsity heavies will be racing for the chance to move back up to the championship eights division.

MIT fours win three medals

MIT’s fours turned in especially strong performances Saturday, with both novice boats medaling and the varsity four taking bronze in a tough open division.

The first novice boat, with Whitaker, Culligan, Rhodes, Milosevic, and Feng coxing, took the gold in the novice division with a nearly one-minute lead over second-place University of Massachusetts-Lowell. The second four, with Cadman, Harry J. Lichter ’06, Dan L. Wheeler ’06, Adam S. Kaczmarek ’06, and coxswain Natalie M. Dang, finished 30 seconds behind UMass-Lowell to take third.

The varsity four faced strong competition in the open division from Bowdoin College, who flew to a gold medal nearly two minutes ahead of MIT. However, the Engineers finished a close third behind Clark College, with a 17:40.04 to Clark's 17:29.94.

“In all, we rowed a good race,” said Rocco J. Pigneri ’05. “We kept our form for the first half, lost it a bit when we were passed at the one-mile marker by a crew from Bowdoin, and then regained it after another half-mile to finish well." The four featured stroke Pedro A. Arellano ’05, Pigneri, CMI exchange student Chris Laux, and Timothy D. Heidel ’05, along with coxswain Lee Squitieri ’05.

The four will also be competing in the Head of the Charles tomorrow, and a novice eight will race on Sunday.