May 21, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. - MIT's first and second freshmen eights finished up the regular season last weekend with admirable performances at the 2006 Eastern Sprints on Lake Quinsigamond and now await word on a national bid.
In the first freshmen boat, the team drew a fast heat and was unable to qualify for the Petite Final despite an impressive first 1000 meters. In the third level final, MIT gained ground on Dartmouth from the qualifying heats, and were able to beat Columbia by five seconds, thereby dodging a last place finish. The performance, while short of expectations, should earn the Engineers a bid for the IRA National Championship Regatta in early June.
In the second freshmen racing, MIT avenged an earlier loss in the season against Dartmouth by moving through the Green around the half way point, and finishing eight seconds ahead. Although neither boat was able to qualify for the Grand Final, the team produced its best race of the year, and similar to the first freshmen's result, finished outside the back of the pack.
The Engineers rowed a varsity eight at Eastern Sprints, although the squad finished fifth in the third-level final. Holy Cross won the race with a clip of 6:03.
MIT's first freshmen boat will wait to hear from the selection committee this week, and hope to compete for a top 24 spot in Camden, N.J.