May 3, 2009
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The women's openweight crew wrapped up its regular season on Saturday at home with the third annual Beanpot Regatta. Tech raced in moderate chop and a variable headwind against hometown rivals Radcliffe, Northeastern, Boston University, and Boston College, as well as guest Columbia. Despite falling short in the final sprint of the varsity race, the Engineers gave their best performance yet in the short history of the Beanpot.
Conditions on the Charles were calmer than expected, though the first 1000 meters of the course was a bit choppy, and a cross headwind slowed down everything. In the first event for MIT, the second varsity eight took to the Charles with a new lineup. After executing a strong start, the young crew fell behind, and lost to Radcliffe, BU, Columbia, and Northeastern.
The varsity eight event proved to be the most exciting of the day. Radcliffe took the lead early and never looked back, but Northeastern and BU fought over every inch of the 2000-meter course for second place, which ultimately went to Northeastern by 0.3 seconds. Similarly, Columbia, MIT, and BC formed a tight pack through the body of the race. Tech started aggressively and took a strong move in the second 500 to gain a length lead on BC and challenge Columbia for fourth. By the time the crews passed the Pierce Boathouse and entered the final 500, Columbia had secured fourth place, and BC had moved back to within a few seats of MIT. Thanks to an impressive sprint, the Eagles were able to pass the Engineers at the last moment to cross the line only 1.8 seconds ahead of MIT. In the end, it was Radcliffe, followed by Northeastern, BU, Columbia, BC, and MIT.
"While it's tough to come up short in the end, I think we made it clear today that MIT Crew is far faster than it used to be," commented Holly Metcalf. "We were much closer to Columbia's speed than we were earlier in the season at the GW Invitational, and we had a real shot at BC for the very first time. There's no doubt that we've gained a lot of speed, and we hope to keep that momentum heading into Sprints."
Both the openweight and lightweight squads will travel to the Cooper River in two weeks for the EAWRC Sprints. Complete results from the Beanpot can be found at www.row2k.com.