Oct. 26, 2008
PRINCETON, N.J. - Every squad from MIT crew traveled to New Jersey this past weekend to compete in the Princeton Chase. Due to the cancellation of the Belly of the Carnegie, this regatta was expanded to include freshmen/novice events this year.
After arriving on Saturday afternoon the team took to Lake Carnegie for a practice row on the three-mile course. Strong gusts of wind and driving rain made it rough at the start, but the weather proved to be sunny and fairly calm for racing on Sunday.
The first race for the women's openweight crew was the varsity eight. Comprised of the same lineup that raced in the championship eight at the Head of the Charles last week, the crew rowed very confidently for the first half of the race. After passing Rutgers they encountered heavy traffic on the course, however, and were forced to the outside of the final bend. Tech lost some ground then, as well as some composure from the frustrating circumstances. In the end the varsity eight finished 30th of 43, ahead of the top entries from Holy Cross, Rutgers, and Villanova.
As the varsity eight landed the novice eight took to the water. The crew included eight of the 12 recruited freshmen rowers, the other four having raced in the varsity boat. Their race was a clean one, as they neither passed nor were passed over the length of the course. The young Engineers rowed assertively from start to finish, and pulled the fifth fastest time in the event (of 16 entries). By defeating the top novice crews from Dartmouth, Boston College, Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Villanova, this crew is undoubtedly the fastest group of freshmen the team has fielded in recent memory.
Allison Simi, the stroke seat of the novice eight, experienced a bit of a homecoming this past weekend, as she trained on nearby Mercer Lake throughout high school. Commenting on her race, she said, "We pulled our butts off today, and Grace coxed her best piece so far this season. By the end we were absolutely dead but it was worth it! We're excited to have come in fifth."
The varsity fours event was a second race for the coxswains and most of the rowers from the varsity eight. Both crews felt they rowed well, and they finished 27th and 30th of 40 entries, with Villanova and Pennsylvania between them in the standings.
This week the recruited freshmen will join forces with the walk-on novices to race in the Dartmouth Green Monster freshmen invitational on Saturday. After that, fall racing will conclude for the entire squad with the Foot of the Charles on 15 November at home.
More information about the Princeton Chase and full results can be found at: http://www.clra.com/princeton/chase/chase.htm