April 12, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its second regatta of the spring, the women's openweight crew earned its first victory on Saturday. A three-round dual racing event, the 22nd annual George Washington Invitational Regatta took place over two days on the Potomac River in the nation's capitol. The Engineers' varsity eight defeated host George Washington, while falling in close battles with Navy, Georgetown, and St. Joseph's. Meanwhile, Tech's second varsity eight raced hard but came up short against Georgetown, Navy, St. Joe's, and California lightweights.
Friday afternoon was a sunny 70 degrees for the first round of racing, with a slight cross headwind. In a very close race with Navy, the MIT varsity eight fell behind in the third 500 to lose by six seats, but still posted the third-fastest time of the day (of all eight teams competing). The second varsity eight executed its strongest race yet, remaining overlapped with Georgetown from start to finish to lose by less than three seconds.
Saturday morning brought chilly weather and hard rain, with a variable cross tailwind. In the varsity race Tech jockeyed back and forth with GW for the first half before securing the lead in the third 500 and holding on through the sprint to win by exactly one second. The second varsity race pitted MIT against Navy and St. Joe's. Navy walked away with the win, but the Engineers maintained contact with St. Joe's and crossed the line only about a length behind the second-place crew.
The rain persisted into the afternoon for the final round, which proved to be the toughest for MIT. After expending so much energy in the first two races, the varsity eight had little left to give and lost to both St. Joe's and Georgetown. The second varsity eight hoped to be competitive with the Cal Lights, having posted almost identical times the previous day. However, the Bears proved to be too much and won convincingly.
"It was satisfying to earn a win against one of our Eastern Sprints rivals, though both our crews felt they could have demonstrated better race execution overall," said coach Holly Metcalf. "As a young squad we still have a lot to learn about putting together the complete race, but competing three times in two days taught us a lot. Different things went well in each round, and now we just have to combine all that into one solid race plan."
Complete results and regatta information can be found at www.gwir.org.