Women’s crew tops field at regatta

Women’s crew dominated its second regatta of the spring season, turning in first-place results in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in every race in which the team entered. Over the break, the team took its first racing strokes of the spring in Philadelphia on the Schuylkill River on March 31.

After a two-week training trip over break, the team returned to campus to train on Lake Onota in preparation for the first in-season sprint race. Last Saturday, the team competed against Williams Smith and the University of New Hampshire in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. At the beginning of the race, racing conditions included a strong cross-tailwind that turned into a cross-headwind by the time the 1V left the starting line. Despite the tough conditions, all the women’s crews that hit the water walked away with a first-place finish in their respective races.

Following a tough loss in Philadelphia on March 31, the novice women hit the water with fire. This time, the novice eight finished first with a 7:27.96 finish over Williams Smith at 7:40.54 and UNH at 7:57.11.

“It waas an exciting race this Saturday. The boat is feeling really powerful, and in a fairly close race with Williams Smith we were able to apply that power,” Lindsay Olsen ’12 said.

The 2V was quick off the line and walked through both crews before the 500-meter mark. The Ephs continued to open the gap between them and the two other battling crews. After executing a strong sprint, the 2V finished in a time of 6:52.96, ahead of Williams Smith at 7:12.89 and UNH at 7:13.64.

In the next race, the 1V rowed a collected and powerful 2k, competing with Williams Smith all the way to the finish line. Gaining speed in the last 250 meters, the Ephs managed to pull in with a time of 6:47.47, defeating Williams Smith by six seconds and leaving UNH trailing behind.

Next to hit the line was the 3V, facing off against only UNH. Both crews started strong, however, but the Williams boat pulled ahead quickly. Officials also  reported that the UNH eight stopped momentarily 500 meters into the race for unknown reasons. The race then continued, and the  women finished in 7:05.04 with an impressive margin of victory over UNH’s time of 7:39.22. The final race of the day was the varsity four in which the women also posted a first-place finish with a time of 8:03.74. The crew beat UNH by a large margin of 29 seconds and Williams Smith by 43 seconds.

“Overall, it was a great day of racing for all the Williams crews,” co-captain Sydney Tooze ’12 said, “and we are lucky to have a team that comes together to support each other.”

Williams’ 2V and 3V tested their speed in a preseason race against Div. I schools Drexel and Temple. Rowing through light rain and a tailwind, both the women’s 2V and 3V posted first-place finishes, pulling in at 6:48.1 and 7:01.7, respectively. The varsity four posted a third-place time and the novice eight finished second to Drexel.

The Williams 1V capped the day of racing with a first-place finish over the Vesper Elite open weight and lightweight quads. The Vesper Elite Boat Club is one of the most successful and competitive rowing clubs in the country, and consistently sends many athletes to the U.S. National Team.

The women’s next regatta will be this Saturday against WPI, University of Connecticut and University of Rochester at Worcester, Mass.