April 2, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - This past weekend, the MIT novice lightweight women raced at the Murphy Cup in Philadelphia and the varsity lightweight eight raced at the PAC-10 Challenge in Redwood Shores, California. After spending their spring break week rowing in Cambridge, the women departed on Friday for Philadelphia or Redwood Shores.
In Philadelphia, the lightweight women opened their racing season in the novice fours event. The first four went on to qualify for the final, finishing second to Bucknell in the heat. However, the novice four final conflicted with the varsity eight final, so the women eventually raced in the varsity lightweight eight. The varsity lightweight eight consisted of sophomore varsity coxswain Minna Du and freshmen Melody Kuna, Victoria Wang, Clare Flanagan, Amber Lin, Emma Jeffries, Anne Shen, Liane Fang and Catey Harwell.
While the eight came in fifth out of five in the final, they rose to the challenge of competing in the varsity event and finished only seven seconds off the Penn State varsity lightweight eight.
In California, the varsity eight got off to a rough start in their races against Stanford and Princeton on Saturday, conceding devastating losses to both crews. However, on Sunday the women showed a strong level of improvement in their race performance and fought well against Loyola Marymount University, staying within contact through the first 1000 meters. While the women lost contact with five-hundred meters to go, they continued to push their performance to the next level and finished strong and within a few seconds of LMU with a time of 7:39.
According to Coach Claire Kostrzewski, "we learned a great deal this weekend and the women were able to overcome some obstacles and perform to a much higher standard on Sunday".
Next weekend, the women face Princeton again, this time at Princeton on Saturday, April 5th with the varsity eight races at 9 a.m. and the novice eight races at 9:20 a.m.