PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – After winning bronze and then silver medals over the last two seasons, the MIT women's lightweight varsity 8 crew moved up to gold medal status at the 2014 Dad Vail Regatta, capturing the top spot this afternoon on the Schuylkill River.
It was a two-boat race for the Dennis Kamrad Trophy, between the varsity 8 teams of MIT in lane 4 and last year's winner in lane 3, Bucknell University. Last year the Bison took a 10-second win, but this year the Engineers turned the tables on their opponent, crossing the line in a time of 6:40.547 that was a little more than eight seconds ahead of Bucknell.
In Friday's preliminary heats, MIT had a pair of varsity 4 entries along with a novice 4 boat. Racing in the women's varsity heavyweight 4+ event, the first varsity four crew needed to finish third to move on to the semifinals and did just that, clocking a 7:34.578 to beat out a boat from Marist College by a bit more than four seconds. MIT's other varsity 4 crew, racing in the women's lightweight 4+ event, won its heat out of lane three, beating a crew from Purdue University to the line by more than 11 seconds to earn a trip to the finals of that event. The Engineers' novice 4 crew finished third in its preliminary heat in 8:06.434, missing out on a trip to the semifinals by one place.
On Saturday in the finals of the lightweight 4+ event the Engineers just missed out of a place on the medal stand, finishing fourth behind crews from Bucknell, Lafayette and Oklahoma City. MIT's time of 9:12.250 did best the teams from Purdue and Grand Valley State in the race. In the semifinal of the heavyweight 4+ event, the MIT crew failed to qualify for the finals, finishing sixth in a time of 8:17.275.
MIT has one final event on its 2013-14 schedule, the IRA Regatta that will be held from May 30-June 1 on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J.