June 12, 2009
LAKE NATOMA, Calif. - The MIT women's lightweight team ended the 2009 spring racing season with a win in the petite final of the IRA National Championship this past weekend. The victory resulted in the Engineers finishing the year as the seventh-fastest lightweight women's crew in the country.
Racing began on Friday when the Cardinal and Gray faced Stanford, Princeton, and Bucknell with the top two crews advancing to the grand final. MIT took fourth place, sending it to the afternoon repechage where it claimed the third spot to advance to Saturday's petite final.
In the petite final, the varsity crew of coxswain Man-Yan Lam, Meredith Lis, Hilda Buss, Clare Flanagan, Melody Kuna, Lucy Fan, Victoria Wang, Xuefeng Chen and Catey Harwell raced with intensity and led off the start, pushing away from Tulsa to cross the finish line 10 seconds ahead.
In the 107-year history of the IRA, this was the first time the national championship was contended on the west coast and the first year varsity crews were selected based on qualification in regular season racing.