Men’s crew concludes season at Cooper River

On Sunday, dangerous weather conditions canceled the majority of events in the last spring race for men’s crew. The entire Cooper River course in Camden, N.J. endured wind speeds greater than 30 mph before the regatta was finally called after hours of deliberation. Although the second varsity boat did get the chance to race in the finals, senior varsity rowers were especially disappointed that the final regatta of their careers was compromised.

Even before the cancellation, the boats underwent a number of lineup changes due to sickness and seat racing. Regardless, the Ephs were ready to compete with an equally strong first varsity boat as they had previously put forth, as well as a greatly strengthened second varsity team.

In the Ephs’ only race of the day, the second varsity boat finished its heat 3.5 seconds behind first place finisher Trinity. Such a small margin between the Ephs and the Bantams signified a major improvement on the boat’s bronze finish at New Englands the weekend before.

But as all of the first varsity heats and third varsity final were called off, this race was the only opportunity for Williams to show improvement from its previous regatta. The first varsity boat in particular had just come off of a surprising victory over Trinity last week in the New England Championship regatta. The Ephs desperately wanted to test their speed against Michigan in the grand finals, but the opportunity eluded them.

The team, however, remains quite hopeful for next year. Head Coach Peter Wells will return as the crew bids farewell to beloved interim Head Coach Ben Lewis. The crew will graduate its three co-captains – Rob Buesing ’09, Michael Sacks ’09 and Andrew Ward ’09.

The crew also bids farewell to coxswain Dan Winston ’09, whose leadership, focus and dedication inspired all boats in which he competed. Building on the strength of last year’s graduates, the team enjoyed unparalleled success at the Head of the Charles and New Englands.

Two bright stars of the program will continue rowing this summer. Dan Kenefick ’11 was invited to the Under 23 lightweight rowing camp in Oklahoma City for prospective four-rowers.

Ward was invited to the small boats training camps in either Philadelphia or Boston. Should they be boated, Kenefick and Ward will row at the World Championships in the Czech Republic.