MIT Openweight Crew Gaining Speed

MIT Openweight Crew Gaining Speed

Oct. 25, 2006

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - With some great racing under the belt and a few pieces of hardware in its hands, MIT openweight women's crew is approaching the halfway mark of the fall racing season and has raced well in the first two regattas of the campaign. First, it was the Textile River Regatta, which took place on a very cool and rainy day, while the Engineers enjoyed better conditions at the 42nd running of the Head of the Charles Regatta.

The wet weather didn't dampen the Engineers' spirits at the Textile River Regatta as the eight finished in fourth place out of a field of 16 during the morning races. In the afternoon events, the squad raced in two fours, a pair and a single. The two fours finished ninth and 10th, respectively, out of a 21-team field. But the crowning glory for the team were the two first-place finishes of the MIT women competing in the pair - senior Samantha Polak and sophomore Alison Greenlee, and single - senior Cynthia Lin.

Pleased that the two evenly boated fours placed in the top half of the field, Coach Derrick was thrilled that in the smaller boat events, two out of the three women receiving medals were seniors.

"This fall we have dedicated some of our practices to rowing in small boats," said Derrick. "The intention behind spending time in smaller shells was to help this young squad improve their rowing skills. The fact that the time spent has given two seniors medals to mark their rowing careers at MIT is an exciting bonus."

The cold damp weather of the Textile Regatta was in stark contrast to the bright sunshine during Sunday's Collegiate Eight at the Head of the Charles. Comprised of six sophomores, two seniors and a junior, this youth-laden boat was looking to improve upon last year's respectable results.

In 2005, the MIT eight placed 28th out of 46 crews with a time that was 10.87% off the event winner's time. This year the Tech Women placed 19th out of 57 crews and their time was 5.69% off the winning time.

Next up for the Engineers is the Princeton Chase, where once again the crew will race an eight and then separate into smaller shells. It is the first time the crew is traveling to the event and the entire team is looking forward to the upcoming weekend.