CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – With a fourth-place finish at the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Dinghy Championship Western Semifinal, the nationally-ranked No. 14 MIT coed sailing team secured a spot in the ICSA Gill Dinghy National Championship to be held May 28-30 at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla. The appearance will be the first for the Engineers since 2008 when they captured sixth place. In other action, the No. 12 women's team ranked 11th at the New England Championship, finishing two spots shy of qualifying for the national semifinals, while MIT placed fifth at the coed George Morris Trophy.
At the ICSA Western Semifinal, the Cardinal and Gray secured sixth place out of 18 teams in both the A and B Divisions. In the first group, seniors Andrew Sommer (Duxbury, Mass.), Kelden Pehr (Seabrook, Texas), Mark Van de Loo (Eau Claire, Wis.), and Eben Freeman (Zurich, Switzerland) cracked the top 10 in 12 of 13 rounds. The quartet won the fourth race, was the runner-up in the first and eighth rotations, claimed third in the third and fifth outings, and was fourth in the finale. In the B Division, seniors Philip Crain (Houston, Texas), David Alfonso (San Juan, Puerto Rico), and Steven Drapcho (Newtown, Pa.) were joined by Freeman and Pehr as they generated top-10 performances in every rotation. Highlights for the Engineers included victories in the fourth and 12th rounds, second place in the ninth race, and third in the last outing.
Sophomore Laura Dunphy (Shelburne, Vt.) and senior Taylor Burfield (Naples, Fla.) collaborated for an eighth-place finish out of 16 squads in the B Division of the Women's New England Championship. The duo entered the top 10 in eight of the 10 rounds, including third place in the second race, fourth in the fifth rotation, and sixth in the first and sixth outings. In the A Division, juniors Hanna Vincent (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Iris Xu (Madison, Wis.) were sixth in the opening race, seventh in the second, sixth, and eighth rounds, and eighth in the seventh rotation as they ranked 11th overall.
The Engineers saw both their A and B Division boats generate 11 top-10 finishes to rank seventh out of 16 teams in their respective divisions at the George Morris Trophy. Freshman David Larson (San Diego, Calif.) and sophomore Samantha Albright (Madison, Conn.) won the ninth race, finished third in the third rotation, fourth in the second round, fifth in the seventh outing, and claimed eighth on four occasions. In the B Division, freshman Joe Paggi (Bayville, N.J.) and Brooke Winslow were the runner-ups in the fourth rotation, third in the opening race, fifth in the fifth round, and recorded a trio of sixth-place performances.
MIT continues its postseason run this weekend at the New England Team Race Championship which will be hosted by Harvard University.
Women's New England Championship: Sailing Master Fran Charles, head coach Matt Cohen, senior Taylor Burfield, junior Iris Xu, sophomore Laura Dunphy, junior Keren Gu, freshman Rosalind Lesh, junior Hanna Vincent, and sophomore Chloe Lepert