September 12, 2006

MIT Lights - Back and Stronger Than Ever

Sept. 12, 2006

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - On Wednesday, Sept. 6 practice started up at MIT's Pierce Boathouse, and the momentum was felt by all. This season, the MIT men's lightweight crew team is looking stronger than it has in many years. Highlighting the turn in momentum is the incoming class of freshman lightweight rowers. For the first time in as long as anyone can remember, the lightweight team will boat a full eight of experienced freshmen. Among the recruited are standouts: Ryan Flynn, Aaron Blankstein, Nick Bushak, Tim Grejtak, Nick Murlo, Raphael Peterson, Dan Stiurca and Olga Botvinnik. Look for the freshman lightweights to make their mark this year in fall and spring racing. The team also welcomes a large core of walk-ons who have signed on to join the team this year as well.

Inexperienced prospective rowers are still encouraged to stop by the boathouse, or email freshman lightweight coach Gordon Hamilton at gham@mit.edu.

The varsity lightweight team has been building depth and experience for the last two years and it is excited to see how far this work will take them. Last year's combination of squads allowed the entire lightweight team to get necessary race experience. This year, the varsity is stronger and more seasoned - no varsity rowers were lost to graduation and every athlete has returned from a summer of solid training. Several rowers competed for teams including the Riverside Boat Club, which garnered success at the Royal Canadian Henley. The core of varsity team has also received an added boost from an enthusiastic sophomore class. Everyone is now working towards goals agreed upon last year. The combination of last spring's racing experience and valuable summer training will be valuable assets to the lightweight team and provide a stepping stone for future success.

The first race of the fall season will be the New Hampshire Championships on Oct. 14, a prep race for the Head of the Charles on Oct. 20 and 21. The MIT lightweights will have two boats entered in the 42nd Annual Head of the Charles Regatta. Information about our boatings will become available in the coming weeks. The following weekend, MIT will travel to New Jersey to compete in the Princeton Chase - another first for the lightweights and the MIT program. The freshmen will compete at the Green Monster Regatta hosted by Dartmouth the first weekend in November. Rounding out the 2006 fall campaign, MIT lights will race the Foot of the Charles, to be held the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

MIT welcomes all alumni and supporters back to the MIT lights and look forward to an exciting season of Head racing.