Crew dominates Head of the Fish, Novice men down Cornell

This weekend, Williams crew destroyed the competition on all levels at the Head of the Fish Regatta in Saratoga Springs, NY. They earned 35 gold medals, five plaques ordained with fish heads (one for each first place finish), and a three-foot tall All Team Points trophy, complete with four fish and a glass dome. All four of the Williams crews participated in this regatta, the last regatta of the fall season.

The Head of the Fish was the first regatta for the men’s novice team this year. As their results show, the men worked hard and learned a lot over the course of the fall.

They boated two eights and two fours. The first eight consisted completely of first-years (Mike Needham, Joel Hebert, Will Eide, Mike Henry, Kameron Shahid, Chris Flynn, Steve Scroggins, stroke, Alex Gordon, cox Haley Horowitz).

They placed second of 16 crews, tying Union. The race was capped by an impressive sprint in which the men gained a considerable amount of ground on Cornell and pushed away from the Union boat behind them.

The novice men also raced a second eight in this event. The novice men’s fours also did well. The top four rowed through the rough waters to come in ninth out of twenty-five crews in the race. Horowitz commented, “We got it together and kept it together we had a great time, an incredible first racing experience.”

The novice women also had an exceptional weekend. In one of the most important races of the day, the novice women’s top eight rose to the occasion and won their event, crossing the finish line ahead of the twenty other crews. The first-years (Ali Orme, Liz Remus, Anne Lewis, Annie Moore, Lindsay Boland, Mary Lydecker, Elizabeth Hatcher, stroke, Laura Day, cox, Rebecca Wertzer) were six seconds ahead of second-placeMiddlebury.

Williams’ second novice eight also raced well, coming in seventeenth. The novice women also boated a four that came in second, ahead of 22 crews.

The varsity men boated two eights and two fours. As the last race of the day, those competitors in the men’s open eights faced cold and windy conditions. The first men’s eight (Dan Werbel-Sanborn ’02, Noah Coburn ’02, Mike Paarlberg ’02, Chris Flynn ’04,Matt Jungers ’03, Alex Gordon ’04, Tony Salerno ’01, stroke Angus Beal ’03, cox, Bowie Zunino ’04) had a great race and placed third.

The second eight was a mixed boat of varsity and novices; despite not having much practice as a boat, the crew placed thirteenth in a field of over 20 crews.

The varsity men’s fours also performed well. Crossing the line with a first place time was Williams’ top four (Werbel-Sanborn, Coburn, Salerno, Beal, Zunino); the second four placed eleventh.

Representing Williams in the women’s doubles were Laura Spero ’02 and Kimmie Kemper ’03, who placed second. Becca Parker-Johnson ’03 and Stephanie Pirishis ’03 also raced in this event. In this mixed doubles, senior Biz Smith rowed with a friend from another college to capture first place; six seconds behind her, in second place, was Williams women’s coach Justin Moore (with wife Lisa Carey-Moore).

Also in small boats this weekend were Shoshana Clark ’02 and Spero in the women’s open pair; after establishing a solid lead over the competition they had an unfortunate collision with a dock and fell to second place behind Bowdoin. Finally, Biz Smith raced down the course in her single, earning first place in the event. Smith holds the course record in the single.

The Women boated two eights at the Fish. The first eight (Parker-Johnson ’02, Kristin Wikelius ’01, Celina Zlotoff ’01, Rachael De Souza ’03, Kathryn Hibbert ’02, Smith, Heather Barney ’01, stroke, Clark, cox, Emilie Mathieu ’02) had a solid race despite the conditions.

They started behind university of Vermont’s top boat, which they passed halfway through the race; Wesleyan’s B boat started behind Williams and never caught up, as Williams rowed to victory. The second eight likewise braved the conditions and raced well, placing seventeenth.

In the Women’s fours, Williams launched three boats. The sophomore four placed ninth; the mixed-class four placed third. The senior four placed first.

Overall, Williams crew showed why they truly swim at the head of the fish.