June 5, 2008

Field, Arsenault Bolt MIT into Sixth at National Championship

June 4, 2008

NEWPORT, R.I. - Seniors Jack Field and crew Julie Arsenault fashioned the best finish possible to end their college sailing careers. The heart and soul of the Engineers for the past four seasons, the duo finished first in the last race, as MIT rallied to place sixth out of 18 teams at the 2008 Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA)/Gill Coed Dinghy National Championship held June 2-4.

"(They) snatched the last race of the championship and their college careers to bring (us) up to sixth place overall," marveled MIT sailing master Fran Charles.

Normally racing in A-Division, Field and Arsenault battled in the `B' group, while young guns Brooks Reed and Ellie Hass led the higher circuit with Gabe Cira.

For the first time since 2003, MIT qualified for the event, and the Engineers made it count when it meant most.

Field and Arsenault placed fourth in their crowd after the 18 rounds. Their stunning finish allowed MIT to overtake top New England foe Yale University for the overall sixth spot. The Cardinal Gray edged the Bulldogs by a score of 312-321, and 137-149 in B-Division.

Meanwhile, the `A' team had its moments, despite finishing 12th among its group. Except for three very low rankings, the quartet stayed consistent, with their best finish a fourth-place mark in the 11th joust.

The Engineers also beat out recent two-time national champion Charleston University, cross-town rival Harvard University, Brown University, and Stanford University.

"We are very proud of the entire squad for the best showing by MIT at Dinghy Nationals since 1964," Charles said.

Georgetown University and St. Mary's College both overtook Boston College late to finish first and second, respectively.