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Men’s Lightweight Crew Finish Strong at EARC Sprints

For the first time in over 10 years, both the varsity and freshman eights of the men’s lightweight crew team finished in the top 10 in the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges Rowing Championships. The team sent three boats to the competition, which took place on Lake Quinsigamond on May 18.

“It is great to [be] part of a program that is moving in such a positive direction,” said Head Coach Ted Benford. “Our student athletes have made a determined effort to compete at the EARC level. We are looking forward to continuing the progress made this year.”

The Engineers’ varsity crew took fourth in the Petite Final to finish 10th overall. Georgetown University won the race with a time of 6:31.86, while Harvard and Penn followed with 6:37.06 and 6:44.91, respectively.

The Hoyas had a quick start and took charge of the race early. MIT, Harvard, and Pennsylvania battled for the next 400 meters with Harvard establishing itself solidly in second place. Penn and MIT then traded seats for the last 600 meters with Penn holding off a late charge by the Engineers to take third.

The first freshman also finished fourth in the Petite Final and 10th overall with a time of 6:26.02. The crew overcame an early deficit to pass Dartmouth College before the half-way mark. The final 800 meters was contested between the crews of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and MIT.

Tech continued to move into the contest for second place, making a charge in the last 500 meters, but eventually ran out of race course as they finished just over a length down.

Freshman coach Andrew Hilton summarized the race for the young Engineers. “The guys felt they culminated their season with their best race of the spring. That translated into defeating a crew by nine seconds who had bested them in the dual season by 2.1 seconds. I look forward to seeing them carry that momentum into next year at the varsity level.”

The men’s lightweights now prepare for the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships in Camden, N.J. this weekend.

—James Kramer, DAPER Staff

Women’s Novice Lightweights Take Bronze at Eastern Sprints

The women’s lightweight crew traveled to Cooper River in Camden, N.J. on May 18 to face top competition at the Eastern Sprints. The novice crew held off a late push by Radcliffe College to take the bronze medal in 7:32, over six seconds ahead of their upstream rivals.

Tension was high as this regatta marked the first time the Engineers had the opportunity to race their peers in the novice lightweight eight event, having raced in fours, and against varsity and openweight crews throughout the regular season.

The novice lightweight eight took on crews from the University of Wisconsin, Georgetown University, and Radcliffe.

The women’s novice crew went quick and hard off the line into second place behind Wisconsin. As the crew lengthened into their race rhythm, however, Georgetown proved too strong and moved ahead to take second place.

The afternoon brought heavy rain and even stiffer competition for the varsity lightweight eight. The Engineers lined up against Radcliffe, Wisconsin, Princeton University, and Georgetown for the top spot. Again, MIT jumped quickly and cleanly off the line, but couldn’t quite hold the pace and moved into fifth place, finishing in 7:11.

Wisconsin took first in an incredible 6:41, followed closely by Princeton, then Georgetown and Radcliffe. While the placing was disappointing, this finish put MIT 16 seconds closer to the gold medal than they were just a year ago.

The varsity lightweight eights will now have three weeks to prepare for the IRA National Championship regatta back on the Cooper River this weekend.

­—James Kramer, DAPER Staff

Hansen Goes 1-1 at NCAA Championship

Leslie A. Hansen ’10 pulled off the first upset of the NCAA Women’s Tennis National Singles Championship by outlasting No. 3 seeded Jordan Hook 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4). The victory was significant as it was MIT’s first since Mealani K, (Nakamura) Parish ’00 accomplished this feat in 1999 and 2000.

Hansen played “one of her best matches ever,” said Head Coach Carol Matsuzaki. “She was nervous going into the match, but it helped her to be aggressive. That is a big part of her game. She went after her forehand and had a high first-serve percentage, which is amazing considering the wind. Both players did a great job of playing the wind this morning.”

In the round of 16, Hansen fell to Lauren Caire of Washington and Lee University, 6-3, 6-0, ending her season with a singles record of 26-3.

—Mindy Braur, DAPER Staff