Last Saturday, women’s crew swept Bates, Ithaca, Coast Guard and Marist at Williams’ last home regatta of the season.
The first varsity won the grand final, beating Bates by 5.5 seconds and Ithaca by 14 seconds. Earlier, the women raced in a heat against Coast Guard in which Williams won by 7.5 seconds. Bates won the other heat by 5.1 seconds.
“I was pleased with the adjustments the women made between the heat and final and believe we rowed a solid piece in some challenging conditions in the final,” Head Coach Justin Moore said.
This race marked one of the tightest races the first varsity women have seen this season. In the most recent Div. III Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/US Rowing poll on April 23, Bates, Coast Guard and Ithaca’s varsity eights were ranked third, fourth and sixth respectively, so the women knew this week would be a good measure of their speed.
“[Bates] kept pushing us, but we responded well,” Kate Sortun ’08 said. “Every time they tried to move, we moved back.”
The second varsity won its race by 9.3 seconds over Ithaca. Bates and Marist finished third and fourth, 15.3 and 27.1 seconds back, respectively. After a shaky start, the women persevered and immediately took control of the race.
“We spent the week reworking our [second varsity] and sent them to the line not knowing how it would turn out. Despite some significant steering errors, the crew raced a solid piece from start to finish,” Moore said. “I believe we have improved our base speed, and am looking forward to watching this boat row together some more.”
The third varsity eight beat Ithaca by 21 seconds. Bates, Coast Guard and Marist did not race third eights. The first novice eight also claimed a big victory, defeating Marist by 17.2 seconds. Ithaca and Coast Guard finished third and fourth.
“Our novices and third varsity deserve a lot of credit for their performances this weekend,” Moore said. “Ithaca, with a school that nearly triples the Williams enrollment, has been one of the deepest and most competitive squads in all of Div. III. After the racing, their coach made a special point of complimenting our team’s depth and the quality of rowing in our novice and third varsity boats.”
The women also raced a varsity four, comprised of women from the second varsity, and two novice fours. The varsity four won by 14.7 seconds, beating Coast Guard, Marist and another Coast Guard boat. The novice fours finished first and second, well ahead of Marist and Bates.
This weekend, the women will race at the New England Rowing Championship, held on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. Williams has won the overall points trophy for the last two years, but Trinity is threatening to take Williams’ spot this year. Williams and Trinity have gone back and forth in various rankings, though they have not raced one another yet this season.
“We’re all ready to line up against [Trinity],” coxswain Allison Prevatt ’09 said. “People spend too much time with their heads in the numbers. All we know is what happens once we line up and go.”