Cambridge, Mass. (September 7) – The MIT sailing team has announced its incoming class for the 2017-18 season as ten newcomers join the Engineers. MIT, under the direction of head coaches Matt Lindblad and Mike Kalin, is coming off a historic season which saw the Engineers win both the Coed Atlantic Coast Championship, the Boston Dinghy Challenge Cup and place eighth at the ICSA Laser Performance Team Race National Championship.
"This class is one of the largest and most experienced to join MIT Varsity Sailing and we are very excited to integrate sailors with so much potential to our already strong team culture," said Lindblad. "This group has already accomplished some amazing things in youth sailing and we hope their passion and enthusiasm for the sport will help our Coed and Women's teams accomplish our goals this year and beyond."
This year's class is comprised of Emily Haig (Beach Haven, N.J.), Ryan Hennessey (Washington, D.C.), Charles Lindsay (West Palm Beach, Fla.), Michael Mastrandrea (Webster, N.Y.), Liz Obermaier (Northville, Mich.), John Ped (Portland, Ore.), Kalia Pfrang (Suffolk, Va.), Ivan Shestopalov (Miami, Fla.) and Julia Wyatt (Sudbury, Mass.).
Shestopalov came in first place at the North and South American Championship and placed seventh at the Optimist World Championship as a youth sailor.
Haig, the 2016 and 2017 Female Sailor of the Year at Southern Regional High School, was a three-time New Jersey State Doublehanded Champion from 2015 through 2017 and will be one of the top women's skippers entering the collegiate circuit this fall.
Hennessey, won the CJ Buckley Team Race Championship, as a 2017 graduate of St. Albans High School in Washington D.C.
Lindsay, who graduated from Suncoast Community High School, sailed at US Nationals and World Cup Miami in 2017 as well as the Lauderdale Olympic Class Regatta in 2016 as the skipper. He also competed at the United State Laser National Championship in 2014 where he placed 12th out of 53 boats.
Ped, who graduated from the Oregon Episcopal School, earned the Sportsmanship Award in 2015 and the 2016 Seamanship Award from his youth program. He also placed second at the Oregon State Championships in 2016, ninth in NWISA in 2016 and fifth at the Hobie 16 Youth Worlds.
Pfrang, a graduate of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, was a four-year member and four-year captain of the sailing team. She was named the Varsity Sailing Crew of the Year and was on the Virginia Interscholastic Sailing Association's (VISA) Top Women's Team and Top Skippers Team.
Wyatt, who graduated from Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, was named the Best Overall Sailor in 2016 and also competed for the Falmouth Yacht Club as a youth sailor.
The Engineers also would like to welcome Mastrandrea and Obermaier to the team in 2017 as they will all be key assets to the program this year. Mastrandrea and Obermaier as well as the seven student-athletes listed above will help MIT build off its historic year from a season ago as the campaign gets kicked off this weekend at four different events.
The women's team opens the year at home in the two-day Toni Deutsch Trophy, while the coed team will head to Maine Maritime for the Penobscot Bay Open and the Phillip Harman Cup as well as to Yale University for the Harry Anderson Trophy and to Harvard University for the FJ Invitational.