Crews finish fall at Head of Fish

Last weekend, men’s and women’s crew journeyed to Saratoga Springs, N.Y. to compete at the annual Head of the Fish regatta. Novice and varsity athletes rolled from their beds in the wee hours of Sunday to arrive at the river in the nick of time, as races began almost immediately.

While the varsity women raced in one or two races, most novices participated in two or even three four-kilometer events. The first for the women was a 9 a.m. Novice Fours race, in which the entered Williams boats snagged first and second.

From the winning women’s boat, Haley Swann ’13 said, “We were the first boat in the event, so our goal was to pull away from the boats behind us. We worked hard to lengthen the gap, and by the halfway mark we had created a solid distance between us and the other boats.”

Exhilarated by successfully rowing their first Head race ever, the Eph novices barely had time to pat themselves on the back as they paddled into the docks. They then climbed into different boats and headed to the start for their next races in the Eights.

The Ephs drove their oars into the water and surged ahead of  the field. The race finished with Williams in first, St. Lawrence in second and UMASS in third.

“This was their best and most consistent row of the fall,” Assistant Coach Brad Hemmerly said of his crew. “If they can carry this energy and enthusiasm on their own through to February, they can make a lot of progress.”

The varsity women ended their fall season at the Fish in strong position as well, securing first, second and fourth place in the Varsity Fours race (UMass’s A boat finished third) and first and sixth in the Varsity Eights.

The first novice boat for the men captured the top spot in the Novice Fours with a time of 12:42.77. A second-place Vermont boat divided the Eph rowers, as the second novice boat clocked in to the third spot at 13:20.19. Both varsity boats, however, were dropped to second and third by rowers from WPI. Hobart and Marist came in first and second, respectively, in the men’s Eight race, followed by men’s crew at 10:57.11.

Hobart again snagged the win in the JV eights, but the top Williams boat inched up to second place. The second boat of Ephs came in seventh, however, just behind Wesleyan’s first placing JV boat. In the men’s collegiate novice eight, Williams docked in a third place finish after Syracuse and Hobart.

With the season over, the teams will now train hard in the upcoming months, seeking to gain as much fitness as possible before dipping their racing blades into water once again in March 2010.

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