Last Saturday, men’s crew traveled to Saratoga Springs, N.Y., for a dual race against Hobart. After much training and competition over spring break, the Ephs were eager to get back on the water, especially due to limited practice time on Onota Lake.
The men are off to a strong start: The men’s 1V, 2V and first novice boats decimated Hobart in Saturday’s competition, a win which came on the heels of a strong performance against St. Joseph’s, Marietta, Drexel and Temple on March 31.
The Williams 1V had a strong race against the Hobart 1V, winning by an 11-second margin. The most exciting race of the day saw the Williams 2V, first novice and second novice boats lined up alongside the Hobart 2V. It came down to a tight race between the Ephs’ 2V and first novice. Building on a great first 500 meters, the 2V held onto its five-seat advantage for most of the race. In the end, the 2V was able to hold off a late surge by the first novice to pull out a victory by a slim margin of 0.55 seconds. The Hobart 2V followed after a good margin for third, while the Williams second novice boat captured fourth. Four of the rookie men returned to the water in a four boat and beat the Hobart novice four by a dominant margin to complete the men’s sweep of Hobart.
Every year, the team heads down to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for 12 packed days of rowing on the endless Intercoastal Waterways over spring break. Each day is comprised of multiple practices on the water complemented with runs and yoga sessions. This marks the first time back on the water for both the men and women and is essential to their success throughout the season. The men, who are fielding four eights this year, compose an extremely deep team that relished the chance to focus on practice over break.
On March 31, the men went head-to-head with St. Joseph’s and Marietta in the morning, followed by a race against Drexel and Temple in the afternoon. The first varsity and first novice crews each won their races by over a length of open water and the second novice boat pulled out an exciting narrow victory. The 2V came in a close second behind a powerful boat from St. Joseph’s but ahead of third-place Marietta.
In the afternoon races, the first novice was the only boat to post a victory. The crew edged out a quick Drexel boat in the final sprint to win by a 0.6-second margin. “We started to pull even at 250 meters, and by the 100-meter mark, it was so close I couldn’t tell who was ahead,” coxswain Maggie Hughes ’15 said. “We crushed the last 10 strokes though to edge them out. [It was the] most exciting race of my life.” The 2V fell to a powerful Drexel crew but surged ahead of Temple in claiming second. The second novice boat fell to an experienced Drexel 3V, but put up a great fight to finish just 12 seconds behind.
Because Temple and Drexel did not field varsity crews, the 1V scrimmaged the Vesper quads. “We were not rowing perfectly [that day], but the energy was there,” co-captain Alex Treco ’12 said. “We are in a good place to build on that.”
The Ephs have three more races until New Englands, a race which will be followed by the last regatta of the year at ECACs. “It is critical for the team to continue to improve these next three weeks of practice,” co-captain Noah Schoenholtz ’12 said. “The weekly races serve as a great barometer of our improvements as we push towards New Englands and ECACs.”
The men will next race against Conn. College, Rochester and WPI at WPI on Saturday.