Women’s crew faced off against Trinity, Ithaca, Holy Cross, Tufts, Wesleyan, Colby, UNH, Conn College and WPI on Saturday in what is typically regarded as the Little Three regatta. Racing three eights and two fours, the Ephs captured four victories, only dropping the novice four race to Div. I UNH. In the process, Williams maintained possession of the Elizabeth A. Neil cup and the eight trophy, which are awarded to the winners of the Little Three 1V and 2V races, respectively. Sadly, the women had to hand over the novice eight plate to Wesleyan without a fight due to the fact that tight novice numbers and injuries prevented Williams from being able to put together a boat for the race.
In spite of 40-degree temperatures and scattered showers throughout the day, the water stayed fairly flat and the cold only served as encouragement for the Ephs to pull harder to stay warm.
The 3V opened the morning’s racing for Williams. Coming off the line, the crew found itself down to Trinity and Ithaca, but quickly fought back. “We made a really effective move at the 400, pulling away from the other crews and recovering from a shaky start with smooth transitions of the ratings and pressure,” coxswain Amelia Simmons ’13 said. From there the 3V only pulled further away, making another move at 1000 meters to finish the race in 7:08.3. Nearly 16 seconds separated the Williams boat from second-place finisher Trinity.
The women’s 1V lined up next, barreling down the 2K course to a 6:43.1 finish with a margin of just under 14 seconds on second place Ithaca. “We went into the race with the intent to be extremely aggressive and focused,” 1V bow seat Maddie Berky ’10 said. “Off the line we were closer to Ithaca than we had been with crews in the past, but the boat stayed collected and we started making moves to push us off their bow. Overall, it was a powerful and composed race, and I’m excited to start building on the speed we established down the course this Saturday.”
The novice four, made up of four freshmen who had already rowed in the 3V earlier that day, went down off the start and struggled to find a rhythm throughout the race. The women couldn’t erase their early mistakes and finished at 8:07.3, 12 seconds off first place UNH for the boat’s first losing race all year.
“Today was hard because it was our first loss this season, but I think we learned a lot from the experience,” coxswain Alexis Rodriguez ’13 said. “Definitely some of the best moments of our row were the two power 10s we took for the injured novice women who couldn’t race this weekend.”
In the women’s second varsity eights race, the 2V outdistanced Ithaca by just under 20 seconds to finish in an impressive time of 6:47. Williams’ depth was apparent in the 2V result: With a finish just a little under five seconds off the 1V’s time, the 2V would have claimed second in the 1V field had the boat competed in the race. “Our goals going into the race were to find a long and powerful base and to focus on having a solid third 500,” 2V stoke Laura Caccamo ’10 said. “We got off the line quickly and cleanly, executed our race plan, and had a great race from start to finish.”
The varsity four beat out Conn. College to close out the day, finishing the race in 7:44.3 for a seven-second margin of victory.
“We had a really solid race against Conn. College and WPI, all boats that we’d already seen,” 4V stroke Anna Soybel ’11 said. “We’re looking forward to facing new competition next weekend and finding even more speed through our sprint.”
On Saturday Williams will take on Bates, Ithaca, Coast Guard and Marist at home on Lake Onota in what promises to be an exciting day on the water.