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Colleen Irby
The MIT women’s crew varsity 8 and varsity “A” 4 teams had their best ever finish at the George Washington Invitational this year, with each team winning all three races. Their next race will be on the Charles River against University of Massachusetts and University of Buffalo on April 21.
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With strong racing across the board, the women’s openweight crew team had its best finish in history at the George Washington Invitational. Racing on the Potomac River in Washington D.C., the Engineers took on Duquesne University, the U.S. Naval Academy, and Georgetown University with four boats in three races over the weekend. The varsity eight and A varsity four were victorious in all three races, while the second and third varsity eights had tight campaigns with all three teams.

The varsity eight easily won all three races with open water, proving themselves to be a dominant force in the weekend regatta. On Friday afternoon against Duquesne, the Engineers faced a 10–15 mph cross tail wind, but finished over 20 seconds ahead of the Democrats in a time of 6:32.2. On Saturday morning, facing Patriot League rival Navy, the Engineers went out strong and took an early lead at the 500 meter mark to finish with a time of 6:27.40 over Navy’s 6:32.70. This marks only the second victory over Navy. In the final race of the regatta, the Engineers faced Georgetown and again took an early lead over the Colonials to finish with open water with a time of 6:22.20 over the Colonial’s 6:35.30.

The A varsity four had a similarly successful regatta, dominating their three races. The four finished almost 26 seconds ahead of Duquesne on Friday afternoon with a time of 7:43.4. On Saturday morning, the Engineers bested both Navy’s A and B fours with a time of 7:34.50. In the afternoon, the four continued their dominance with a win over Georgetown in 7:23.10.

The second varsity eight, third varsity eight and B four faced stiff competition, but on Friday afternoon both eights managed open water wins over Duquesne University with times of 6:51.0 and 7:15.4 in the second and third eights, respectively. Day two of the regatta showed good, close racing from both boats. In the morning, the third varsity eight finished only 1.5 seconds behind Navy with a time of 7:03.90. The second varsity eight continued the close racing, only 3.7 seconds behind Navy. In the afternoon, the Engineers fielded a second varsity eight and a B four with five athletes from the third varsity eight. After only a few practices together, the four raced hard and came up behind Georgetown in a time 7:54.60 to the Colonial’s 7:40.00. In the second varsity eight, MIT finished behind Georgetown in a time of 6:43.10 to the Colonial’s 6:36.50.

In its fourth showing at the GW Invite, MIT has proved its early season speed and given Patriot League and Eastern Sprints League rivals a taste of what is to come. The Engineers will face Patriot League rival Navy again at the league championships on April 29, and Eastern Sprints rivals George Washington and Georgetown again at the Eastern Sprints Championship on May 13.

The Engineers face University of Massachusetts and University of Buffalo at home on the Charles on April 21.