April 24, 2006

Engineers Leap into Sixth at Reed Trophy NEISA Women's Championships

April 23, 2006

By
Mike Stoller

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - B-Division skipper Cha-ling O'Connell and crew Libby Palmer placed fourth in their circuit, giving MIT a stronghold on sixth place out of 13 entries at the Reed Trophy NEISA Women's Championships, this past weekend. Tech's terrific tandem scored three first place marks and missed the top five only four times during the 13-race event.

The duo's remarkable score of 61 ranked considerably better than cross-town rival Harvard University's 74 and neighboring foe Tufts University's 83. O'Connell and Palmer finished behind only host Boston College (55), Dartmouth College (55), and event-winner Yale University (28).

Battling a strong current running upwind in Saturday's 8-12 knot easterly breeze, O'Connell and Palmer finished atop the board in the first of eight contests. After placing a solid fifth and sixth in races two and three, the pair took the slacker running downwind by storm in the later rounds, slotting third, first, fourth, and first in the final four jousts.

Sunday's shifty 8-12 knot wind left the teams struggling as the tide change. However, O'Connell and Palmer still managed a pair of third place marks in the last two loops.

MIT's A-Division team of Emma Bassein and crew Sunny Wicks slotted seventh with a score of 100, placing one notch above Roger Williams University (101) and two higher than Brown University (111). Their best showing was a first-place finish in the seventh round. However, in the upper division battles, the Engineers succumbed to second-place Harvard (43) and fifth-place Tufts (64).

On Sunday, the Cardinal and Gray posted a record of 4-4 at the Team Racing Series Four Fowle Qualifier. Host Bowdoin College won the event with a mark of 7-1, followed by University of Rhode Island at 6-2. University of Vermont (3-5) and Tufts (0-8) also participated.

Host MIT also finished eight out of 11 teams at the Metro Series 5, as Tufts finished first with a score of 49.