October 29, 2007

Finishing First, MIT Shocks at Schell Trophy

Oct. 29, 2007

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Jack Field, Julie Arsenault, Brooks Reed, Ellie Hass, and Karlen Ruleman took home top honors at the Erwin Schell Trophy, as host MIT bested 17 other teams during the two-day event along the Charles River this past weekend. The first-place finish clinched a berth for MIT at the Atlantic Coast Championship in Florida on Nov. 13-14, as the Engineers came full circle after entering the campaign as the 10th best team in the Sailing World College pre-season rankings.

Among the teams MIT defeated were Boston College, Yale University, and Brown University, the first, second, and fourth ranked teams in the country.

"This past weekend, we had a truly stunning victory," said A-Division crew Julie Arsenault. "We took first in the Schell Trophy, which is something MIT hasn't been able to do for 27 years. It was a truly competitive regatta, with many of the nation's top sailors attending."

The `B' team of Reed, Haas, and Ruleman placed in the top 10 in all but two of the 18 races, including eight slots in the top five. The trio's score of 121 was equaled only by Yale's lower circuit. Reed, the skipper, teamed with Hass in the first eight rounds and Ruleman in the last 10.

Field and Arsenault, meanwhile, sealed MIT's illustrious fate by defeating Yale's higher group by seven points, 109-116. To make the outing even more remarkable, Tech's top duo, which finished second, recovered from 18th and 17th place finishes in the first and third rounds, respectively.

Earlier this month, Field, the skipper, and Arsenault, two of MIT's long-standing talents, were named to the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) All Academic Team, honoring scholar athletes who have succeeded at the highest level in the sport and in the classroom.

With rain ending early Saturday, the teams battled a mostly 8-10 knot southerly wind that built to 14 knots in the day's 10th and final round. Sunday brought a fresh and chilly west to northwest breeze at 10-15 knots. The courses were Windward, Leeward to Gate, and Windward to Finish.

Harvard University and Roger Williams also earned ACC berths, finishing third and sixth, respectively. Yale, BC, Brown, and Tufts University had already qualified.

MIT will compete at the Rhode Island State Championship in Newport, R.I. next weekend.