WEST WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. – It was a solid weekend of racing for the MIT women's lightweight crew team as the Engineers competed at the annual Knecht Cup races. MIT finished the weekend advancing the Varsity 8 crew and a pair of lightweight fours to their respective final events on the Mercer Lake course.
MIT had two lightweight eight crews in the Heat 1 on Saturday. The A crew finished third over the 2,000-meter course in 7:04.42 and advanced to the Sunday final, finishing just four seconds behind the Wisconsin A crew and six and a half seconds faster that the Badger's B team. The MIT B crew was fifth with a time of 7:22.90. On Sunday the A crew posted a nearly identical time of 7:04.40 in the finals, claiming fifth. The Engineers were 11 seconds off the winning time posted by Princeton's crew, finishing three seconds ahead of Tulsa.
In the lightweight four events on Saturday, MIT started with three entries, with the B crew rowing in Heat 1 and taking third in 8:12.33, edging out the A crew from Princeton by a little more than two seconds in advancing to the final. In Heat 2 the MIT A boat also advanced to the final, coming in second in 8:18.89, six seconds behind the winners from Bucknell and well ahead of the rest of the field. MIT's C entry was fifth in the second heat, finishing in 8:50.51. In Sunday's finals, the Engineers rowed well in a close competition that saw all six boats finish within less than nine seconds of each other. MIT A took fourth in 8:01.30, less than three seconds behind Bucknell. The A crew just nosed out the B crew at the line by 0.01, with Princeton just 0.40 off the B team's pace.
MIT's Novice 8 team started their weekend in Heat 3 on Saturday, advancing to the semifinals with a third-place finish. The Engineers stopped the clock at 7:50.71, just edging out a Virginia Tech crew by a little more than a second while finishing a little more than three seconds behind UMass. Their weekend was stopped in the semis, however, where the MIT crew finished sixth in Semi 3 in 8:06.00.
A Novice 4 crew raced twice on Saturday as well. The Engineers started their day with a second-place finish in Heat 2 with a time of 8:27.45 finishing 10 seconds behind UMass A while defeating crews from Colgate, Catholic and Charleston. Moving on to the third semifinal the Engineers finished sixth in 8:38.78, failing to advance.
MIT will be back on the Charles River on Saturday, April 19 when the Engineers will host the MIT Lightweight Invitational. The Varsity 8 crews will be the first in action, slated to start rowing at 9:12 a.m.