Thursday, February 08, 2007

2007 Season Preview - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT enters the 2007 season in an unusual position - riding a wave of momentum generated by successes in the eight. It's been a few years since MIT has put its heart into the eight, but they did so last spring and this fall and have some fine results to show for it. Now comes the hard part...

[Update: This is a corrected version of the original post thanks to a reader who was kind enough to provide the actual schedule (as opposed the inaccurate one on the school Web site) in the comments.]

The Engineers open the spring on April 7 at Princeton, vs. the Tigers and UCF. It's always dangerous to make too much out of early races, but this will be a great race. Right out of the gate MIT will get an opportunity to prove itself against two of the best the lightweight league has to offer.

It looks like the Engineers will skip Knecht, choosing to stay at home to race UMass on April 15th. UMass will use this race as a test of their speed and will row hard to provide some incentive for the program to put focus on the light eight. MIT will want to show it can dominate here. The following week the Beavers will take on Radcliffe. As always, this will be an excellent test against the home-town rival who, by the way, MIT handled pretty nicely last November at the Foot of the Charles. There's always a lot of talk after these fall races about who had what boat in what race crewed by which rowers, but the results stand. And they'll stand long enough to make this an interesting race. MIT will be tested pretty well in April.

On May 13th MIT heads south to Camden for Eastern Sprints. By the time the end of the month and IRAs roll around, I'm guessing that the MIT eight (and four) will have proven itself worthy of making a serious push for the grand final. I'll leave it there, but if I rowed for MIT I'd be thinking bigger than making the final.

MIT loses two rowers from last year's IRA boat. The fact that MIT came back last fall with some speed is a promising sign for the depth of the program. You know, rowers are known throughout the academic world as the brainiest of athletes. Doesn't it just make sense then, that MIT should be fast? Not only that, if you're going to chant this cheer, you'd better be fast! Well, I expect to hear that cheer a lot this year. (Races added to calendar)

Finally, through the good graces of Dan Morken in Washington (state, that is), I have MIT's start at the 2006 HOCR for your viewing pleasure (some resolution loss from YouTube). Doesn't the sound of the oars in the oarlocks just make your stomach churn?


Anonymous said...

The actual MIT schedule is:
April 7 Princeton, UCF @ Princeton, NJ
April 15 UMASS @ home
April 21 Radcliffe @ home
May 12 EAWRC Sprints @ Camden, NJ
June 1-3 IRA's @ Camden, NJ

Just like the schedule on the athletics site, the roster is wrong too. Six of the rowers from last year will be competing for seats in this year's IRA boat.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog despite (or maybe because of) it's singular focus on the shrinking world of women's ltwt rowing.

But I gotta wonder what you're thinking when you make statements like:

"You know, rowers are known throughout the academic world as the brainiest of athletes. Doesn't it just make sense then, that MIT should be fast?"

A)Are you asserting that rowers are "the brainiest" based on any statisitical study or simply antecdotel evidence coupled with a personal desire that your sport is a cut above?

B)Are you suggesting boat speed is a function of intelligence?

something like?: the dominate rowing league is the Ivy League and only smart people go to the Ivy League therefore rowers are smart.

Which is it?
Rowers are smart people because only smart people row
Smart people make fast boats (and your extension: the smarter a rower is the faster she is)

If you're assertion is true shouldn't it also apply to the men?
And really... when was the last time the MIT men were "fast"?

Some flawed logic there.

Keep fighting the good fight though.

JW Burk said...

Well of course, when I say things like that my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek (not always easy to tell in a short post). On the other hand, I do believe there is some statistical evidence to suggest that rowers are "the brainiest of athletes." This can be seen when schools report average GPAs of their athletic teams. Maybe I'll take a look to see if I can find that evidence.

Even more interesting would be an analysis of why smart people row (if my above assertion is true). I'm making a bit of a joke about crews from brainy schools (whatever that is) should be faster, but I'm serious about having read that rowers are smarter (as defined by GPA).

The beauty of comments - getting called out on stuff like this! Everything is fair game though, and I'll see what I can find.

Anonymous said...

does your video source have video of other crews you are previewing?

JW Burk said...

I hope to have videos for the boats that raced in the HOCR last fall.

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