Men’s crew prevails at Clemson Sprints

With a beneficial training trip and three regattas behind them, men’s crew is off to a strong start in its spring season. Williams’ spring schedule has already yielded a first-ever team-points trophy from the Clemson Sprints, a successful first trip to Philadelphia’s Murphy Cup and dual races against Harvard.

Last weekend, the men traveled to the Malden River, Tufts’ home course. There, Tufts played host to Williams, in addition to Boston College, Tulane and Harvard.

The first varsity eight, coxed by Dan Winston ’09 and stroked by co-captain Riley Maddox ’08, was first up against the Harvard third varsity eight, one of the fastest JV crews in the country. Williams led Harvard the first three quarters of the race with a strong start, but ultimately fell to the Crimson by approximately a boat length.

The novice men were also outmatched by the top-ranked Harvard novices. Williams’ third varsity eight claimed the only victory of the day against Harvard, racing its second novice eight and capitalizing on a Harvard steering error to pull ahead. Later that same day, Williams swept the field against New England rivals Boston College, Tufts and Tulane. Williams’ second varsity eight led Boston College down the course, while the first eight likewise bested Tulane by over 20 seconds.

Despite a successful day on the Malden River, the Ephs are not satisfied. “At this point, we know less about our opponents than they know about us,” Rob Buesing ’09 said. “We won’t really know where we stand in the ECAC until the post-season is over.”

But the men have shown no shortage of aggression or energy on the race course. While training in South Carolina over spring break, the Ephs competed at the Clemson Sprints where they won every race they entered.

Races at the Murphy Cup in Philadelphia proved far more competitive. The first-years in the novice eight were edged out by a powerful Delaware crew and subsequently grabbed the silver medal. The varsity eight led top-ranked Temple for 1200 meters, before succumbing to a powerful press both from Temple and from Fordham. A last minute push by Williams nearly put them back into second place, but Fordham held strong.

“We’re definitely on to something,” co-captain McLane Daniel ’08 said. “We’re really focusing on improving week-to-week, rather than getting distracted by the Little Threes or the championships. Guys are generally pretty dissatisfied with last spring and the fall, and they are ready to make up for it.”