CHERRY HILL, N.J. – The MIT women's lightweight Varsity 4 "A" boat earned a bronze medal in its event in the grand final of the Knecht Cup on Sunday morning in Cherry Hill, N.J. The Varsity 4 earned a spot in the grand final during Saturday's qualifying heats and took advantage, finishing with a time of 7:53.02, good for third place.
In Saturday's qualifying, the Varsity 8 crew narrowly missed out on advancing to the grand final, finishing just one spot out of the top six.
In Sunday's grand final, the Varsity 4 rowed out of lane one. At about 1000 meters, Tech made a move to edge ahead of Princeton University. The Engineers would then hold on with a strong sprint to cross the finish just over three seconds ahead of the Tigers to earn the bronze. The University at Buffalo was first with a time of 7:41.19 while Penn State took second, just ahead of MIT in 7:50.56. The Engineers also beat out boats from Pittsburgh University and the University of Massachusetts.
Racing in lane two on Saturday, Tech's top four beat out crews from the UMass, the College of New Jersey and Princeton's "B" boat in its heat to qualify for the final.
The Varsity 8 raced in the first of two heats, against crews from the University of Wisconsin, Georgetown University, UMass and Princeton's "B" boat, and finished fourth with a time of 7:09.54. Wisconsin won the heat in 6:49.70, as Tech came in ahead of Princeton (7:20.17) and UMass (7:57.88).
With the top two from each heat plus the next two fastest times advancing to the grand final, Tech hoped its time would hold up after heat no. two. Princeton's top crew won the second heat and was followed by Bucknell. The University at Buffalo finished third in the heat with a time of 7:04.70 to narrowly beat out MIT for the final spot in the grand final.
Also rowing on Saturday were MIT's Varsity 4 "B" crew and the Novice 8. The Novice 8 finished fifth in its heat, racing in an openweight novice race, beating out Fordham University. The Varsity 4 "B" placed fourth, ahead of Lafayette College and the University of Maryland, as three of the four rowers were competing in their first-ever 2000-meter event.
Women's Lightweight – 1st Varsity 8
Women's Lightweight – Varsity 4 "A"
Women's Lightweight – Varsity 4 "B"
Women's Lightweight – Novice 8