Sept. 15, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Practices have begun for the openweight women, with mixed lineups of upper-class rowers and freshmen recruits taking to the Charles River every day. Coach Holly Metcalf has chosen to condense the fall competitive season this year to concentrate primarily on developing the skills of each athlete and blending everyone into a cohesive squad.
The main competitive focus for the season will be the Head of the Charles and the Princeton Chase, only a week apart at the end of October. Until then, Metcalf hopes “to spend a lot of time getting everyone to row well together before having to worry about racing lineup selection.”
Early in October the crew will have an alumnae row, with a special focus on commemorating the 35th anniversary of varsity women’s rowing at MIT. President Susan Hockfield and Athletic Director Julie Soriero will both be on hand to celebrate the storied past of MIT Crew alumnae, as well as the bright future ahead for the current athletes.
Once race time draws near, the team will field a championship eight, a club eight, and a club four in the Head of the Charles, to race against some of the best teams in the country at the largest regatta in the world. The entries for the Princeton Chase are still to be determined, as the regatta format has changed this year to include freshman events – most likely the team will race a varsity eight and a freshman eight, with perhaps some smaller boats competing as well.
In early November the freshmen will travel to New Hampshire to race in the Dartmouth Green Monster freshman/novice invitational regatta. Tech will field two openweight eights at this event for the first time in recent memory, thanks to the large freshman crop rowing this year.
The season will close with the Foot of the Charles in mid-November. At this event the elder varsity rowers compete in fours, with the freshmen racing in eights. “Finishing the fall with a home race is really ideal,” remarked Metcalf. “The upper-class women will get a great chance to further develop their skills in the fours, and the freshmen will be able to show how fast they can be as a class.”
Upon concluding the fall season the squad will commence land training, then head to Florida for ten days of rowing after the winter break.