Women’s crew preps for Div. III NCAA victory

As spring break draws near, women’s crew is eager to hit the water and put an end to the winter’s indoor training. Led by co-captains Kate Shaper ’12 and Sydney Tooze ’12, the varsity women have put in some significant mileage on the ergs throughout the winter months. This spring season, women’s crew is aiming to win the team points trophy at New Englands and recapture the NCAA title.

Earlier in the fall season, two varsity eights traveled to Boston to compete in the world-famous Head of the Charles regatta. For the second year in a row, the varsity eight captured a gold medal. The second varsity eight also showed up in full force, taking sixth and beating out multiple 1V boats from other colleges.

Last spring, the Ephs went undefeated, winning every event they entered at both New Englands and ECACs. The top two varsity eights then traveled to NCAAs in Sacramento, where the first eight took gold and the second eight placed sixth in the grand final. Six of these varsity eight rowers will return this spring, and the team is rostering a total of 12 seniors this year.

“Williams women’s crew is led by a very determined senior class, who are providing the leadership for the rest of the team,” Head Coach Kate Maloney said. Maloney said she has been “pleased with the fall training and results and [is] looking forward to seeing what the entire team is capable of doing in the spring season.” She is also excited by “the addition of some strong juniors coming back from abroad who have brought energy and enthusiasm. The team overall is very deep.”

The leadership demonstrated by the team’s seniors is undeniable, but the women are especially excited about the novice squad, now comprised of 12 rookies. Despite varying levels of experience, these first-years are jumping in wholeheartedly, eager to uphold the standard determined by novice crews in the past. Last spring, the novice boat won both the New England Championship and ECACs.

Most recently, five Eph rowers traveled to Boston on Feb. 19 for the chance to pull a 2000-meter piece on the erg at the C.R.A.S.H. ‘B’ World Indoor Rowing Championship as part of off-season training. At the C.R.A.S.H. competition, the women rowed on the erg machine in the open weight division, excepting Kat Amano ’13, who rowed in the lightweight division. This group of women, all of whom posted personal best times, included Amano, Piper Sallquist ’15, Jane McClellan ’12, Annie Haley ’13 and Ashley Amos ’12.

The women will see their first competition of the season in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where the team will face off against St. Joseph’s on March 31. Upon the team’s return to the East Coast, Williams will travel to Worcester, Mass., to compete against William Smith and UNH on April 7.

The team is excited to see open water during spring break. “The women’s crew team is brimming with anticipation to get back on the water,” Tooze said. “It has been a long wait, but we’ve been working hard and can’t wait to see what we can get out of our spring break training trip.”