April 26, 2008
PELHAM, N.Y. - The MIT lightweights rebounded from a tough week to find their stride at the 54th running of the Geiger Cup. In a terrific effort by the Engineers, the Varsity eight finished three seconds behind Columbia and just six seconds back of 2007 national champion Cornell. Tech's finish resulted in the team's best performance at the Regatta since rowing 5:54.2 en route to a second-place finish in 1993.
All three eights came off the line stroke for stroke in strong tailwind conditions with Cornell striding out in the first 500 meters to establish a lead that they would not relinquish. Columbia responded early to the Cornell move with MIT responding in kind.
At 1000 meters, the Lions made another move that enabled them to build a six-seat lead over MIT, but the Engineers thwarted the Lions attempt to make further progress.
For the remaining 700 meters the Engineers were in contact with Columbia but could not make an impression deeper than a stern deck. In an exciting finish it was Cornell 5:53.5, Columbia 5:56.4 and MIT 5:59.7, marking the first time that all three boats broke the six-minute barrier for the 2000-meter circuit.
The freshmen race saw Cornell take the early lead and apparently leave Columbia and MIT to battle for second. However, Columbia rowed an inspired second 1000 to pass Cornell and leave the Engineers to take third. It was a sound race for MIT, but lacked the urgency in the latter stages (Columbia 6:01.9; Cornell 6:05.2, MIT 6:13.5). MIT's second freshmen rowed hard but didn't have the goods against a fast Cornell boat (Cornell 6:18.7; MIT 6:39.5).
In the varsity four, MIT faced stiff competition against the Cornell third varsity oarsmen, who broke down into fours. While the Engineers were able to stay in the hunt in the first 700m, it was all Big Red after that. Later in the day, the Cornell third varsity raced in the second varsity event besting Columbia by 23.6 seconds. The final results were: Cornell 6:46.5; Cornell 6:49.3; and MIT 7:12.9.