May 18, 2008
CAMDEN, N.J. - MIT's Lightweight women traveled to the Cooper River in Camden, N.J., this weekend to face top competition at the Eastern Sprints. First up, the novice lightweight eight took on crews from Wisconsin, Georgetown, and Radcliffe.
Tension was high as this regatta marked the first time the Engineers had the opportunity to race their peers in the novice lightweight eight event, having raced in fours, and against varsity and openweight crews throughout the regular season.
The MIT crew went quick and hard off the line into second place behind Wisconsin. As the crew lengthened into their race rhythm, however, Georgetown proved too strong and moved ahead to take the Silver. The Engineers held off a late push by Radcliffe to take the bronze in 7:32, over six seconds ahead of their upstream rivals.
The afternoon brought heavy rain and even stiffer competition for the varsity lightweight eight. The Engineers lined up against Radcliffe, Wisconsin, Princeton, and Georgetown for the top spot. Again, MIT jumped quickly and cleanly off the line, but couldn't quite hold the pace and moved into fifth place, finishing in 7:11. Wisconsin took first in an incredible 6:41, followed closely by Princeton, then Georgetown and Radcliffe. While disappointed in the placing, this finish put MIT 16 seconds closer to the Gold medal than they were just a year ago.
Next up, the varsity lightweight 8+ will have three final weeks to prepare for the IRA National Championship regatta back on the Cooper River.