CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Fresh from a productive spring break of training last week, the women’s openweight crew is looking forward to opening its spring racing this weekend. Now an associate member of the Patriot League, the team will compete in a conference championship for the first time since becoming Division I, while still concluding the traditional season at the prestigious Eastern Sprints.
Racing begins this Saturday morning in nearby Worcester; the Engineers have come up short in recent years against University of Massachusetts and Holy Cross University, so facing both will be a good early test of speed. The University of New Hampshire and Division-III powerhouse Williams College will round out the field.
The George Washington Invitational on the Potomac River April 9-10 offers the squad three races in two days against fellow Eastern Sprints schools George Washington University, Georgetown University and Navy. This event has presented some of the best racing for the team the past two years and promises to do so again.
Next is a dual race against Bucknell University on April 17. Last year Tech closed the gap on the Bison from 29 seconds to under 10 seconds, and the team aims to show additional improvement this year. As the defending conference champion, Bucknell should once again be the team to beat in the Patriot League.
Eight days later MIT will travel to the Cooper River to race in the Patriot League Championship on April 25. Having already faced Holy Cross, Navy, and Bucknell, the team should be well prepared for the competition, which also includes Colgate University and Lehigh University.
The regular season will once again end at home with the fourth-annual Beanpot Regatta against hometown rivals Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University and Radcliffe. Last season, the varsity eight led BC for 1800 meters in a strong headwind before getting edged out at the finish, and the team is eager for redemption.
After a weekend off, the team will finish with the Eastern Sprints, the oldest and most competitive regional championship in the country. Coming off of its best EAWRC finish in recent memory last spring, the team hopes to accomplish even more this time around.
“It’s exciting to finally be in a conference,” remarked head coach Holly Metcalf. “All of our April races include a conference opponent, so we’ll be ready for our first appearance at the Patriot League championship. That experience should in turn help us to be even more prepared for the challenge of the Beanpot and Eastern Sprints in May.”