Women’s crew paces field at Head of the Fish

Women’s crew finished off its fall season last weekend with a dominating performance in the Head of the Fish Regatta in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The women faced temperatures hovering around freezing, but were able to overcome the challenges presented by the weather to bring home three first-place trophies, as the 1V, 2V and novice eight all finished at the top of their divisions.

The 1V rowed to first by over 20 seconds, tearing through the course in just 11:45.05 on Sunday.
The 1V rowed to first by over 20 seconds, tearing through the course in just 11:45.05 on Sunday. Photo Courtesy of Sarah Treco.

After the 1V earned gold at the Head of the Charles the walk before, the all-senior crew started the Ephs at the right place, claiming first by almost 20 seconds. The women completed the course in 11:45.05.

“The senior 1V was excited to come back and race where some of us started racing our freshman year,” Fiona Wilkes ’12, 1V coxswain, said.

The 2V race was next on the docket for the women, who fielded two boats in the category. The Williams 2V started in the pole position and rowed to a commanding victory in 12:07.15, topping second-place UMass by over 35 seconds. The result was particularly impressive because it would have been good enough to earn the 2V third place in the first varsity race.

The Williams 3V also competed in the 2V race, taking sixth place in 13:11.70. While the 3V crew was rowing together for the first time, they beat all of the other 3V boats and several 2V boats.

The novice women were next on the day’s schedule, racing in both the novice four and novice eight events. The Head of the Fish Regatta was the first competition of the year for the novice women, the majority of who did not race prior to joining the team at Williams. The novice four represented the Ephs well, placing third of 21 boats in the race with a time of 15:11.98.

The novice eight rowed into second place in its race, finishing in 13:23.27, a result that bodes well for the upcoming spring sprinting season. “There was a lot of excitement in the boat, but we managed to stay calm and had our best piece yet,” Stephanie Neul ’15, seven-seat, said after the race.

The two varsity fours finished the day for the women, facing conditions that had worsened throughout the event. Racing as the temperature dropped and as a strong wind picked up, the first varsity four, composed of all seniors, dominated its race, winning by 30 seconds and passing three boats in the race. “We were excited to go out as a group of seniors and complete our fall season,” said Emma Pelegri-O’Day ’12 after the race. “Despite the tough conditions we were able to come together and finish strong.” The second four, composed of all sophomores, swept to a solid sixth place finish in a race of close to 30 boats.

Head Coach Kate Maloney was pleased with how the team performed over the course of the short fall season. “We had some good results and got done what we needed to get done,” she said. “We’re looking forward to a good, spirited winter training.” As this was the last race of the fall for the women, the team will be heading indoors for winter training in preparation for the spring racing season, which starts at the beginning of April.