Following a week of difficult conditions on Onota Lake, men’s crew packed up and headed out early to Worcester, Mass., to race WPI and Franklin & Marshall. The men arrived to favorable conditions with light variable winds, which made for a great day of racing on one of New England’s best courses. With strong performances by every boat, the men captured the Donahue Cup in emphatic fashion.
The Ephs’ 1V boat set the rhythm for the day by rowing to an 11-second lead in a strong time of 6:01.6. They pushed off the start line strong and put Franklin & Marshall behind them before also pushing WPI away. Co-captain Alex Treco ’12 was happy with the win but also emphasized the team’s need to better its times from week to week. “While you can’t argue with winning, we were disappointed not to have improved from last week,” Treco said. “With three full weeks left before our championship races, I think we’re excited about the speed we can find as we try to reach our potential.”
The first novice boat was the next to hit the water for Williams. The crew lined up in a dual race against home team opponent WPI. A strong start put the novices up quickly, and they gained open water by the 400-meter mark. With the WPI crew behind it, it became a race against the clock for the novice boat, which has made steady improvements throughout the season. The men crossed the line in a quick 6:13.88, over 30 seconds ahead of second-place WPI. “We have been struggling with starts lately, so it is great to check something off the list of things that need improvement,” stroke Connor McLane ’15 said. “We had great speed and timing for the first 1000, so the goal is to build on that and maintain speed in the third 500 and through the final sprint.”
Adding to the win column for the men was the second varsity boat, which crossed the line in 6:18.5, ahead of both WPI and Franklin & Marshall. The men found themselves up on both teams after a quick and clean start. The field quickly separated into a race between WPI and Williams with the men holding a half-length advantage. In the end, the 2V found a faster sprint than WPI, expanding its lead to just under a length as the crew crossed the finish line 2.2 seconds ahead. “WPI will definitely be a close competitor at New Englands,” co-captain and 2V stroke Noah Schoenholtz ’12 said. “We need to train and race with a greater sense of purpose if we’re going to stay ahead of them in the next three weeks, and if we’re going to compete with the other New England crews we haven’t raced yet.”
So far this year the second novice boat has had unlucky draws, constantly finding itself matched up against experienced 3V crews. This past weekend, the second novice boat fell to WPI’s 3V by a margin of just 9.38 seconds. Considering that half the boat has been rowing for less than three weeks, this crew has raced well and shown quick improvements in a sport that can often overwhelm newcomers. The team is looking for great things out of this boat by the end of the season at New Englands and ECACs.
Now it is back to the rough waters of Onota Lake for another week of tough preparation to iron out the kinks in each boat, according to Head Coach Peter Wells. “The crew responded well to a difficult week of practice, and we are looking forward to making improvements during a difficult week of practice ahead,” Wells said.
The men will host rival Wesleyan in the Little Three meet on Saturday on the team’s own Onota Lake.