Men’s crew earns Saratoga Oar

In its second trip to Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass., in as many weeks, men’s crew defended the Saratoga Oar, claiming victories over the field in the 1V and 2V races and taking second to Ithaca in the men’s novice race on Saturday.
The men’s 1V boat competed against Wesleyan and Ithaca and handily dispatched its challengers. Despite battling increasing headwinds throughout the race, the Williams 1V dominated the field: The men claimed a half length’s lead over Wesleyan just 500 meters into the race. They earned victory with a time of 6:19.5, finishing a full 12 seconds faster than Wesleyan. Ithaca came in third in the event. In defeating the Cardinals, the Ephs defended the Saratoga Oar, the 1V trophy for the Little Three, and claimed the Little Three Championship. The other member of the Little Three, Amherst, does not sponsor a men’s crew team.

“Everyone is really excited, not only by how fast we have been going but also by the improvements we can make in the next few weeks,” co-captain Jack Wadden ’11 said. “We can get a lot faster.”

The 2V dominated in similarly impressive fashion over the field. At the 500-meter mark, the men had pulled ahead of Wesleyan, Ithaca and Colby by a full boat’s length. The 2V crossed the finish line in 6:08, besting second-place Wesleyan by 22 seconds. Colby finished third in the race, and Ithaca followed less than two seconds behind in fourth. The 2V’s victory over the Wesleyan men in the event won the Calhoun Cup for Williams.

“The Little Three [Championship] means a lot to the program, and I know a lot of guys were really excited to go out there and not just settle for first. We wanted to open the margin up to show other programs that that’s not who we are,” Wadden said.
The men’s novice boat finished second to Ithaca on Saturday, finishing just 10 seconds out of first with a time of 6:44.7. The Ephs finished well ahead of the Cardinals, taking a 16-second advantage to the finish. Colby claimed fourth in the race in a time of just over seven minutes.

“The novice boat did beat Wesleyan and so we technically swept the Little Three, which we were all really pleased about,” Wadden said. “[The novice] boat … has been frustrated this year. The [novice men’s] performance this weekend definitely showed how working hard together will pay off, but they are all looking at that second-place finish knowing they can do better, knowing that boat has a lot of untapped speed.”

The men’s next race will be on Saturday at Williams’ home lake, Lake Onota, in Pittsfield, Mass. The men will host Ithaca, Bates and the Coast Guard Academy.