CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- MIT's women's lightweight crew team, ranked 5th in the most recent USRowing Collegiate Poll, competed in the Lightweight Invitational on the Charles River this weekend. The Founder's Cup featured teams from Boston University, Wisconsin, Stanford and Radcliffe. Racing took place over a two-day period, with heats taking place on Saturday and Sunday morning before Sunday's finals.
On Saturday the 1V crew raced in the prelim against both Stanford and Radcliffe. The Engineers put together a solid, aggressive race rowing at 34.5 strokes per minute. The prelim was ultimately taken by Stanford in a time of 6:37.8 with the Engineers finishing third in 6:58.8.
The 2V crew, racing against Radcliffe, dealt with very challenging conditions including extremely choppy water with rolling whitecaps. The boat did a very good job of staying aggressive despite having water coming into the boat on most strokes. In this heat the Engineers finished behind Radcliffe in a time of 7:48.1. After the conclusion of the 2V race, the N4 heats were canceled due to unsafe conditions.
After Saturday' prelims Coach Claire Martin Doyle said, "we had some very challenging conditions today and I was especially impressed with both coxswains who did a great job to get crews locked on to stake boats, stay aligned for the start and keep their respective crews focused and aggressive".
Sunday's racing began with heats to set up the draws for the final. The 1V heat was a rematch from Saturday's race. The Engineers rowed at a comfortable 35 strokes per minute to Radcliffe's aggressive 38 and Stanford's 36. The Engineers ultimately finished in 7:02, behind Radcliffe's 6:54 and Stanford's 6:49, qualifying them for the petite final. This result was the closest a boat from MIT has finished to Radcliffe in program history.
In the 2V8 heat MIT faced off against Boston University. The Engineers had a very strong opening 500 meters. They rowed cleanly through the first 1000 meters, but were ultimately out-powered by BU, finishing second in 7:42.8.
Both boats then raced in the petite final. Both boats again drew Radcliffe with the 1V rowing a clean, aggressive and well-executed race to post their fastest ever course time on the Charles River. Radcliffe did pull away at the end, finishing in 6:42.2 with the Engineers finishing at 6:49.2. This bettered the closest ever finish the Engineers have had to Radcliffe that they posted this morning.
In the 2V8 petite final MIT rowed aggressively through the middle of the race to post a 7:26.7, behind Radcliffe's 6:54.7. After finishing Sunday's races Coach Martin-Doyle said that, "Today's results were encouraging and show the squad is making good progress week to week".
Final results from the Founder's Cup saw Boston University take the trophy with 9 points. MIT finished in 5th with 4 points. The Engineers will return to action next Saturday when they host the Muri Cup/Beanpot.
7: Sharon Wu
6: Liz Martin
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5: Anne Kelley