Nov. 18, 2006
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Early Saturday morning, the last fall regatta for the MIT crew got underway on an unquestionably perfect fall day: sunny, very little wind and temperatures reaching a high of near 55 degrees. The women's racing began at 9 a.m. with the varsity four event followed by the novice eight and finally, the varsity eight at 10 a.m. The MIT lightweight women's squad boated two crews in the varsity four, two crews in the novice eight and one crew in the varsity eight.
In the varsity four, the lightweight "A" four started in seventh position, just behind the Radcliffe lightweight "A" four, giving the MIT crew a great opportunity to measure its speed against Radcliffe throughout the race.
Coxswain Ainsely Braun mentioned afterwards, "We were moving up on Radcliffe throughout the race and our goal was to be next to them by the finish line - we didn't quite reach our goal, but felt good about moving up on their crew through the race".
The effort of the crew secured a first-place finish for MIT in the lightweight division and 14th overall out of 39 crews that raced in the division.
In the varsity eight race, the MIT lightweight crew combined its "A" and "B" fours to race in the eight less than one hour after completing their races in the varsity four. Once again, the MIT lightweights went off the line just behind the Radcliffe lightweight eight. Looking crisp and clean, the MIT lightweights powered through Radcliffe by the Weeks Bridge, holding a strong 32 strokes per minute down the course.
While this is the best performance in program history at the Foot of the Charles, varsity coach Irene Jenkins said, "I was quite pleased with our performance which is a result of the dedication of our athletes; It is a good building block, but we have a long way to go towards our goal of winning a national championship this spring".
In the novice event, the MIT lightweights had to contend with a Radcliffe novice lightweight eight that has been dominant all fall. While the Engineers' novice lightweights could not match the pace of the Radcliffe lightweights, the "A" boat finished a solid 17th place out of 30 novice openweight and lightweight crews, coming in second in the lightweight division by rowing down the course at 31 strokes per minute for a final clocking of 16:33. For all but two of the women in the top eight, this was their second rowing race ever and according to novice rower and seven-seat Rene Reder, the race was "amazing". This is the best result ever in the Foot for an MIT novice lightweight eight. The "B" boat also had a solid performance beating openweight "B" boats from UMass, New Hampshire and the "C" boats from Boston University and Boston College.
Novice Coach Claire Kostrzewski added, "I think the crews both had a solid performance today and our depth within the team will help us to continue to improve throughout the year".