Crew finishes home season with disappointing results

This past weekend, crew hosted its final home race of the season. Bates College, Coast Guard Academy, Rochester University and Marist College all traveled to Lake Onota in Pittsfield, Mass. to participate in the contest. Weather conditions were not favorable for the rowers, with a quartering headwind blowing from five to 15 miles per hour, varying degrees of driving rain and choppy water.

The first race of the day was the varsity men’s heats to determine lane placement for a final race later that day. In the first heat, Williams squared off against Bates and Rochester. Bates jumped out to a quick lead early, with Williams following closely behind and Rochester trailing the pack. Bates would cross the line first in a time of 6:34, a full five seconds ahead of Williams and eight and half seconds ahead of Rochester.

The second heat placed Marist College against the Coast Guard Academy, where Marist took a commanding lead, crossing the line in a time of 6:22 and defeating their opponent by 17 seconds.

The final took place two hours later, with Marist seeded first followed by Bates, Williams, Coast Guard and Rochester. In an unfortunate turn of events for the Ephs, the three seat of the men’s boat caught a crab, dropping Williams behind the pack. Despite their best efforts, the men were not able to catch the rest of the pack and finished in fourth place with a time of 6:51 behind the leader Marist, followed by Bates and Coast Guard Academy.

The second race of the day pitted the varsity women’s squad against Bates, with Coast Guard racing Marist College. The Ephwomen defeated Bates by two seconds, crossing the line in a time of 7:43, which placed them as the third seed for the final race. After 500 meters, the pack began to break up, with Coast Guard jumping ahead, followed by Bates then Marist and Williams. Coast Guard crossed the first with a time of 7:31, with Williams finishing 10 seconds behind the leader.

“Our heat was great: we rowed with a lot of power and executed our race plan well. Our final was less successful; we weren’t rowing very effectively, and it definitely had a negative impact on our speed,” Liz Remus ’04 said. “We didn’t feel like we rowed to our potential. The race showed us what we need to work on, and I’m confident that the experience will only prepare and motivate us to do well next week.”

The novice men followed the women’s heat, racing against the junior varsity squads of Marist, Rochester and Coast Guard. The freshmen fared very well against the competition, trailing the victor, Coast Guard, by only two seconds and finishing in a time of 6:59. The novice eight would compete again against the novice crews of Bates, Coast Guard and Marist. While Marist jumped away from the pack, Williams maintained a lead over the remaining boats throughout the race and edged out Coast Guard at the finish line, crossing only a half second ahead in a time of 6:56.6. Despite their loss to Marist College, Williams remains undefeated against their New England competition.

The junior varsity women took to the water next to face off against Bates and Coast Guard Academy. While Coast Guard took the lead, Williams raced very hard against Bates for the second place position, only to be edged out by half a second. “This was our strongest race of the season and we were really pleased with the way we challenged such strong competition,” Kacey Houston ’05 said. “We see this race as a huge step forward for us and we’re excited to improve upon it next weekend at New Englands.”

The final race was the novice women, who were the only victorious Williams crew of the day. Williams took a commanding lead against the Novice boats of Coast Guard and Marist. The Ephwomen crossed the line with a time of 7:49 which was seven seconds ahead of the Coast Guard Academy and 17 seconds ahead of Marist.

This upcoming weekend, crew will travel to Lake Quinsigamond in Worchester, Mass. for the New England Regional Championship. With a good performance in the Regional Championship, Williams will be invited to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championship in Camden, N.J., to compete against such crews as University of Michigan, University of Virginia and Georgetown.