April 11, 2006
CAMDEN, N.J. - The MIT openweight crew traveled to the Cooper River this past weekend to race in the Knecht Cup. Competing at the regatta were the novice eight and the the varsity "A" and "B" fours.
The team's first event was the varsity four "A" heat on Saturday morning. The crew finished third to advance to the semifinals, scheduled for later that afternoon. Unfortunately, weather conditions deteriorated throughout the day, which forced the cancellation of the semifinals for the "A" boat, eliminated the four "B" event, and changed the novice event's format to accommodate the field of thirty crews.
Sunday morning, the varsity four "A" was seeded into the Petite Final with Boston College, University of Connecticut, Colgate University, University of Pittsburgh, and University of Dayton. Taking a lead off the start, the MIT four continued to separate itself from the rest of the pack and finished with a first-place time of 8:26. UConn came in second at 8:35 and Boston College was third at 8:39.
Later that morning, MIT competed in the heat for the first novice eight. Right off the start, Georgetown University clashed oars with the Engineers and caused a boat-stopping over-the-head crab. But the crew composed itself and proceeded to march back into the field of competitors. The MIT novices finished the heat in second place, behind Boston College, with a time fast enough to seed them into the Grand Final event. Putting the rough start of the morning behind them, the crew got off to a clean start in the final and led the field for the entire race, winning the event with open water in 7:26. University at Buffalo was second with a time of 7:32 and Boston College was third.
Head openweight coach Alison Derrick commented, "I couldn't be happier for novice coach, Elizabeth Bond, and her squad. Competing at the Knecht Cup was intended to help us prepare for the Eastern Sprints. Winning the First Novice Eight event demonstrates that we are on the right track for the season while continuing to build a stronger, more competitive MIT rowing program."