Women’s crew seizes Donahue Cup

Women’s crew is back to dominating the water. First place performances from the 1V at the Donahue Cup and also in the previous weekend’s race against UMass, MIT, University of New Hampshire, College of the Holy Cross and Smith, as well as dominating performances by every other boat, mark a successful opening to the team’s spring season.

Last Saturday at Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, the women’s 1V captured the Donahue Cup, blowing Simmons, Connecticut College and WPI out of the water. In spite of challenging conditions caused by a cross wind, Williams powered through for the win. The 1V finished at 6:50.7, coming in nearly 23 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Simmons.

Posting a time of 6:55.8, the 2V also won by a sizable margin. Nearly 32 seconds faster than second place Simmons, the 2V also finished only 5 seconds off the 1V’s time, putting them ahead of Simmons’ 1V as well.

The varsity four ‘A’ and the varsity four ‘B’ finished one-two in their race with times of 7:44 and 8:00.2, respectively.

In a second women’s four race, members of the 2V, coxed by Liz Zhu ’11, pulled away from the pack after being down off the start to add another win for Williams on the weekend.

The 3V continued to build on the Ephs’ momentum with a winning time of 7:26.5. Simmons, again in second, trailed by almost 51 seconds. The 3V’s victory clinched Williams’ sweep of the Donahue Cup.

Last weekend’s success was foreshadowed by the team’s first race of the season. On April 3, Williams dominated UMass, MIT, University of New Hampshire, College of the Holy Cross and Smith at Lake Quinsigamond. Battling against a headwind that picked up speed throughout the day, the Ephs remained poised and in control: The four boats that raced all gunned down their respective competition.

In the 1V’s race, the women made a strong move at the 400-meter mark to pull ahead, ultimately posting a time of 7:14.6 to win with open water. The 2V also ratcheted up the intensity of its race, finishing at 7:29.9, a little over 15 seconds faster than second place UMass.

The most exciting race of the day was the varsity four’s: The women moved at the 400 and 1200 meter marks to post a time of 8:31.31, beating out the UMass ‘B’ crew by less than five seconds. Finally, the 3V cleaned up the rest of Williams’ would-be competition, finishing just 9.1 seconds off the 2V’s time to claim the win far ahead of the rest of the pack.

“We’re very proud of our results so far, but still hope to get much faster,” co-captain and 1V stroke Julia Haltermann ’10 said when asked about the women’s strong opening competitions. “We’re really trying to take advantage of this time we have on the water, but also a lot of our success is thanks to the hard work we put in during the winter. Now we just need to find good rhythms and cohesion in the boat.”

The women will continue their season when they line up against Wesleyan, Ithaca, Holy Cross, Tufts and Connecticut College at Lake Quinsigamond on Saturday.