Crew rows with ‘passion’ at Little 3 Regatta

This past Saturday, crew hosted the annual Little Three Regatta on their home Lake Onota in Pittsfield, Mass. With ideal conditions of a slight quartering head wind, calm water and a bright sunny day, the men and women of Amherst, Wesleyan and Williams took to the water to compete for highly coveted trophies, such as the Saratoga Oar for the Varsity Men and the Elizabeth Neal Award for the Varsity Women.

The Varsity Women race featured only Williams and Wesleyan. The Williams women eight (Liz Remus ’04, Liz VanHeuvelen ’05, Macy Radloff ’06, Meaghan Rathvon ’06, Abbey Wattley ’05, Liz Mygatt ’03, Anne Lewis ’04, stroke: Liz Killien ’06, cox: Rachel Outman ’05) delivered a convincing victory of eight seconds over the Cardinals crossing the line in a time of 7:13.9.

“We knew Wesleyan would go out really strong in the first two minutes; we recognized where the race was going to be and took advantage of the opportunity to be aggressive right from the start,” Rathvon said. “Together we rose to the challenge of racing within ourselves while maintaining the technique that we are always striding toward.”

Next came the Varsity Men with all three colleges fielding eights to compete for the Saratoga Oar. After a strong start, the Williams boat (Mark Rothisberger ’03, Matt Webster ’04, James Brittain ’06, Aron Chang ’05, Will Cary ’05, Luke Hyde ’03, Emil Peinert ’05, stroke: Chris Flynn ’04, cox: Hayley Horowitz ’04) jumped out to a quick lead and maintained their advantage throughout the race.

The Ephs crossed the line in 6:21.4, which was seven seconds faster than second place Wesleyan and 17 seconds faster than Amherst. After the race, Will Cary ’04 said, “We knew once we had the lead that we didn’t want to sit on it, so we had to press hard to increase our margin over the other boats through the sprint.” The record for the Saratoga Oar now stands at 17-14-4, with Williams on top over Wesleyan and Amherst, respectively.

After the Men’s race, the JV and Novice women raced together to compete for the Class of 2000 Award and the Captain’s Plate, respectively. While Williams fielded boats for both the JV and Novice, Wesleyan only entered the JV event while Amherst only entered a Novice boat.

The boats maintained strong contact with each other until the Williams Novice women jumped out to a commanding lead followed by the Williams JV with Wesleyan and Amherst trailing.

The Williams Novices crossed the finish line first in a time of 7:33.4 with the Williams JV only a little over a second behind with a time of 7:34.5. Wesleyan and Amherst crossed the line behind the victorious Ephwomen with times of 7:46.4 and 8:12.4 respectively. “We were really happy with the way that we rowed. It was by far the best race that we had yet this season,” novice woman Ellissa Popoff ’06 said. “It was really exciting to beat the JV women, but we realize that although we’ve come a long way so far, we still have lots of work to do.”

The final trophy race belonged to the Novice Men, where only Williams and Amherst vied for the Bill McGraw Award. With a strong start, the Ephmen were able to push the Lord Jeffs behind them quickly. Williams delivered an astounding victory, crossing the line in 6:36.4 a full 50 seconds ahead of the Amherst eight.

Two other awards were not contested this year, the Charlie Cost Award for the second Novice Men’s eight and the Calhoun Cup for the JV Men’s eight. Of his athletes’ success in sweeping all the trophy races, Coach Peter Wells ’79 said, “Both coaches are very pleased with the men and women’s performance – they are rowing with a youthful passion and energy that allows their boat to go much faster than the sum of the individual parts.”

Aside from the trophy races, many exhibition small boat races were held between three colleges. The women rowed four person boats containing rowers from both Varsity and Novice.

The Williams Varsity Women (Wattley, Rathvon, Mygatt, stroke: Lewis, cox: Outman) again delivered a convincing victory over the field crossing the line in 7:58 which was eight seconds faster than their closest competitor, Wesleyan.

The men also rowed two different fours events, one with heavy weight rowers and one with lightweight rowers. In the heavy weight event, Amherst faired well, beating the field by four seconds and coming across the line in 7:10, followed by the Williams A boat (Inman, Webster, Rothisberger, stroke: Peinert, cox: Horowitz) in a time of 7:14 and the Williams B boat (Chang ’05, Scroggins ’04, Hyde ’03, stroke: Flynn ’04, cox: Halleck) just a half second behind.

The Williams Novice four finished 13 seconds behind their varsity teammates but managed to beat the Wesleyan Varsity four by one second. In the lightweight event, Amherst’s Varsity four again triumphed over two of Williams’ Novice fours crossing the line 7:29.6, which was six seconds ahead of the Novices.

Next week, Crew returns to Lake Onota to host the Coast Guard Academy, Marist College, Bates College, Ithaca College and Rochester University. This will be the last season race before Williams heads to the New England Championship.