Women’s crew hopes for NCAAs

After four months of intensive indoor training, women’s crew is pumped up to make a splash this spring season. Coming off of an exceptional 2008-09 season, in which Williams’ 1V won the NCAA Championships and its 2V boat was in the grand final, the Ephs also performed well in the fall racing season: The first and second varsity boats finished second and third at the Head of the Charles, respectively. Now, the women are looking to secure their fifth straight NCAA Div. III title, which would be an unmatched feat. The Ephs will test the waters for the first time since the end of October when they head off to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for a spring break training trip.

“Spring break is a wonderful start to racing season,” co-captain Julia Halterman ’10 said. “We train intensely, but it’s great to be back on the water.”

It is on this training trip that the Williams women will perhaps race their fiercest competitors: each other and the Williams men’s crew team. “We have a really strong team culture that connects a lot with the men’s team as well,” said Halterman. “We really try to take advantage of each other to make both teams stronger and faster together.” The depth, teamwork and trust which allow for this friendly intersquad competition to take place has been developed over winter training, when NCAA and NESCAC rules prevent the coaches from being involved with training and the rowers hold each other accountable. “We’re an extremely dedicated team and not just in terms of physical training,” Halterman said. “We are dedicated to each other and aspire to maintain a high standard in every sense.”

Going along with maintaining high standard, the Williams crew strives to be “champions on the water and off,” as Head Coach Justin Moore constantly reminds the team. And it is with this mentality that the women’s crew team will open their spring season against Holy Cross, UMass, UNH and MIT on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass., on April 3.

“We’re a team that loves racing and competition, so just having the opportunity to do that is extremely gratifying,” said Halterman. Halterman is one of seven seniors returning to lead the squad this season. The Ephs are also joined by 12 first-year rowers this upcoming season.

Moore is especially looking forward to the spring season, during which he hopes to lead his team to victory. “The spring season is both short and intense,” he said. “Our team has a good mix of maturity and youthful talent. Blending these two elements is going to take a lot of work, and will likely result in a few mistakes. I don’t think we will find our top speed until quite late in the season.” If all goes well, the Ephs will peak at just the right time to row to victory in New Englands, ECACs and NCAAs.

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