Oct. 19, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - On Sunday, the MIT lightweight women took to their home course on the Charles River to compete in the Head of the Charles Regatta, one of the largest rowing events in the world. The competition features thousands of competitors from top colleges, elite clubs, and foreign national teams. The Engineers raced in both the lightweight four and lightweight eight, the first year in which the program raced in both premier lightweight events.
In the lightweight eight, MIT faced a tough challenge, starting just two spots ahead of a crew from Vesper Club that boasted four members off the US National team. The Engineers drove hard from the starting chute and held off Vesper until the Weeks footbridge where varsity coxswain, Mindy Du, expertly handled the inside turn under the bridge. At the finish, the Engineers’ effort was good enough for 10th overall and sixth among U.S. colleges.
In the lightweight four, Tech battled a strong headwind and rough water to place 12th overall and replicate its sixth-place finish among U.S. colleges. This year's race marked the first time any of the four rowers had raced in the Head of the Charles and the second time for coxswain Minna Du.
According to head coach Claire Kostrzewski, “Both crews rowed strong races and if they keep working hard this year, will continue to get faster. The majority of the varsity team is sophomores, so there is still work to do to get to the next level, but they showed great determination on the race course today.”
Also racing this weekend were MIT staff and alumnae. Katherine Hoff ’08 raced in the club single and finished 15th out of 30 in her debut in the single event at the Head of the Charles. Novice lightweight coach, Amelia Booth, took fifth in the club single, finishing within 5% of the winning time and therefore, guaranteeing herself an entry for 2009. Head lightweight and openweight coaches, Claire Kostrzewski and Holly Metcalf, combined to row the master’s double where they finished ninth.