MIT Lightweights Pull Record Time in Head of the Charles

Oct. 27, 2006

By Kate Madden

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The MIT lightweight women's crew team rowed an impressive race Sunday during the 42nd Head of the Charles regatta on the Charles River. Racing in the lightweight women's 8+ event (each boat has eight rowers plus a coxswain) against both club and collegiate crews, MIT finished eighth overall and fourth among collegiate teams.

The Engineers started behind second-ranked Georgetown University and gained water on them through the entire three-mile course. Completing the course in an MIT lightweight women's record of 17:47.05, the crew edged out Georgetown by 6.8 seconds.

Finishing third among collegiate crews, just 6.3 seconds ahead of MIT, was cross-town rival Radcliffe; first place finisher Princeton University and the University of Wisconsin, right behind, rounded out the top three collegiate teams.

"It was a great Head of the Charles to end on," said co-captain Kathleen Yeh '07. "Beating the second best team in the country was amazing, especially given all the hard work we've been putting in." The team practices six days a week, often in early morning hours, with many team members putting in additional time running, erging, or lifting.

"Beating Georgetown, and being so close to Radcliffe, proves that MIT crews can be competitive in the toughest league in the country. After this, and IRAs, people are taking MIT lightweights more seriously," said Erqi Liu '08. The crew finished seventh last spring at the IRA (Intercollegiate Rowing Association) National Championships and hopes to improve upon that result in 2007.

Six members of the seventh-place crew from that race were in the line-up on Sunday. The Head of the Charles boat included, from stroke to bow: Liu, Katherine L. Madden '08, Katherine R. Hoff '08, Jessica A. Lynch '08, Emily J. Dykgraaf '10, Kathryn M. Schumacher '09, Yeh, and Tiffany L. Iaconis '08. The boat was coxed by Ainsley K. Braun '10.

This weekend, the Engineers head to New Jersey to face Georgetown, Radcliffe, and Princeton again at the three-mile Princeton Chase.