April 7, 2007
PRINCETON, N.J. - The Engineers began their spring racing season this past Saturday on Lake Carnegie with the lightweight women from Princeton University and University of Central Florida. Having had only two weeks on the water, the MIT lightweights handled the stiff headwind and formidable chop pretty well.
Eager to gain speed as they catch up to competitors with increased water time, the day began with the novice eight event. The Engineers were encouraged after entering both an A and B boat. Despite the growth in program size, the novice women will have to be patient as they take on teams with less walk-on athletes. Coming across the line in 8:18.3, the first novice eight took second place to Princeton's 1N who posted a time of 7:57.9. Following MIT's 1N was the feisty 2N who crossed the line in 8:37.2. Coach Kostrzewski felt "both boats performed up to their capability today and we are looking to find more speed in the coming weeks".
Following the novice event was the varsity eight race with entries from UCF, MIT, and two Princeton crews. Though the Princeton A crew emerged victorious with a time of 7:37.0, the Engineers fought a three-way battle with UCF and Princeton B boats. Coming across the line in 8:01.4, they were four seconds behind UCF and two ticks behind Princeton B.
After the race, head coach Irene Jenkins remarked, "the crew simply did not tap into its potential speed on this particular day. Although I remain confident that we will gain speed as we prepare for upcoming races with UMass and Radcliffe."
Following a mid-day break for all crews, the varsity rowers from MIT, Princeton, and UCF went out for additional racing in fours. Beginning to find its speed was the varsity four A from MIT. Crossing the line ahead of both Princeton (8:30.7) and UCF (8:37.6), the Engineers posted a time of 8:23.2. This crew made it clear that the morning's results were not a sure determinant of future standings.
In the varsity four B race, the Engineers raced a line up that included five first or second year rowers and coxswain. Though the women were behind Princeton B (8:47.4), they did manage to edge out UCF (B) by four seconds with a time of 9:25.2. Though the results were a challenging start to their spring season, the team is eager to find more speed as they challenge UMass this weekend on the Charles River.