ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – In the program's first appearance at the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Coed National Championship since 2008, the nationally-ranked No. 12 MIT sailing team ended the three-day competition in 14th place on Thursday afternoon. The College of Charleston took top honors, finishing 20 points ahead of Georgetown as Dartmouth claimed third place.
Both A and B Division boats finished 12th among 18 teams as the first unit produced eight top-10 performances while the second squad had seven placements. On Tuesday, seniors Andrew Sommer (Duxbury, Mass.) and Kelden Pehr (Seabrook, Texas) won the third race in the A Division and finished ninth in the fifth and final round of the day. Meanwhile in the B Division, seniors Philip Crain (Houston, Texas) and Steven Drapcho (Newtown, Pa.) claimed sixth place in the opening rotation.
Sommer and Pehr carried the momentum into Day 2 as they ranked sixth and 10th in the sixth and eighth rounds. Senior Mark Van de Loo (Eau Claire, Wis.) came in as the crew and helped MIT take eighth in the 14th race. Senior David Alfonso (San Juan, Puerto Rico) was the Engineers' B Division skipper all day and collaborated with classmate Taylor Burfield (Naples, Fla.) for fifth and seventh-place finishes in the eighth and ninth rotations. Drapcho filled the crew duties in races 11 through 14, resulting in the duo securing third place in Wednesday's finale.
Thursday's portion of the championship featured the last four rotations. In the A Division, Sommer and Van de Loo were seventh and ninth in the 16th and 17th races. The B Division contingent opened the day in the same fashion as the previous one ended as Crain and Drapcho claimed third place. Senior Eben Freeman (Zurich, Switzerland), who saw some action in the A Division, paired up with Alfonso to win the 17th round and then finish seventh in the last race.
As a conference, the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association saw five of its seven qualifiers finish in the top 10. Following Dartmouth in third place, Brown and Boston College came in fourth and fifth, respectively. Roger Williams University claimed seventh place while Yale finished one spot back. Tufts University rounded out the league in 12th place.