Crew closes season with solid finishes

In the final regatta of the fall season, the Williams crew team raced several boats yielding top finishes for all entries. Always evolving, the men’s crew team raced new line-ups for the final races including class boats, two novice boats, open pairs, and the traditional open eight.

In the men’s four competition, the men entered junior, sophomore, and senior boats. In what appeared to be pure intra-team competition, the first boat of Dennis Debassio ’00, Geordie McClelland’00, Mark Acton ’00 and John Kallay ’00 won the event (breaking Williams’ previous course record with a time of 13:13), followed closely by the senior four in fourth place, and the sophomore men seconds behind.

In the open eight race the results are still under inspection, with present finishes showing RPI winning, followed by Union, RIT, Bates, and Williams. Coach Peter Wells suspiciously remarked, “something is perhaps rotten in Denmark on this one. So officially these results are still in the preliminary state.”

In the open pairs event, Mark Rothlisberger ’01 and Acton synchronized their way to second place, with teammates Tony Salerno ’01 and Dan Clayburgh ’01 finishing 40 seconds later. The novice men also ended with close finishes, placing eighth and ninth of 22 crews, even after the first boat experienced some difficulty.

Summarizing the women’s results, Coach Greg Kruckynski stated, “It was a good day with a great deal of friendly ‘trash talking’ as the team competed more or less between themselves.” The four’s competition proved his words, with the junior/sophomore four placing third (first collegiate boat overall), followed by the freshman boat in fourth place, and the senior women in seventh.

The open eight saw the junior/senior 8 finishing sixth overall, the sophomore women close by in seventh, and the freshman finishing 19 of 26 crews. Potential Olympian Elizabeth Smith ’00 easily won the open single competition with her next competitor 20 seconds behind.

Closing this chapter of the rowing year, women’s co-captain Heather Kovich said, “We rowed some new lineups which was really fun. It was a good way to end the season.”

In the previous week, at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta, the Williams crew team rowed very well in all races against strong national competition. Williams entered five collegiate boats on the historic Charles River.

In the women’s competition Williams was represented by a club four, a club eight, and a champ eight boat. In the club four race, the women finished in the top half of the field of competitors with a twenty-third place finish of 49 entries. The crew from the University of Wisconsin won the event, and Williams rowed far ahead of little three rival Wesleyan University, which ended with a forty-fifth place finish.

In the club eight competition, the women’s JV boat rowed to a seventeenth place finish of 73 entries, often facing varsity crews from other schools. Coach Greg Kruczynski remarked, “It was an excellent race in which many Division III schools boated their top eights. It tells me that our second boat is pretty strong.” In the champ eight race, Williams placed thirty-fourth of 59 crews, and was the fastest Division III school by 30 seconds. The Danish Rowing Federation won the event, and Williams finished ahead of top crews from Colgate, Radcliffe, and Wesleyan, among others. In the men’s competition, the club eight boat finished fourth amongst a field of 79 boats. The top finish went to the Tideway Sculler’s School from the UK.

The men rowed ahead of crews from Colby, Bates, and Wesleyan. The JV men finished in the top half of the competition with a forty-first place standing. Coach Peter Wells commented, “I was real pleased with the results. The club 8 finished fourth, and we literally threw the boats together the day before. This fall we have been pretty relaxed, but the men knew it was time to have a good performance, and they did.”

An alumni boat composed of rowers from the Class of ’98 and current oarsmen finished twenty-eighth of 45 entries in the champ eight race. These men, most of whom rowed in the club 8 competition last year could not enter it again because they medalled. The U.S. National Team finished first.

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