Last Saturday marked another successful day of racing for women’s crew. The women’s 1V, 2V and 3V captured first-place finishes and the Donahue Cup, while the novice eight fought for a second-place finish in the 3V race.
Williams was up against four major competitors: Simmons, WPI, Franklin & Marshall and Conn. College. The regatta took place at WPI’s Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass.
First off the line, the 1V made a statement by clearing the rest of the field by the 500-meter mark. The women worked to expand their lead, and they concluded with a powerful sprint to finish with a time of 6:43.2, a full 20 seconds over the second-place Simmons crew, which finished in 7:03.16. WPI followed in third with a time of 7:09.31.
“This past weekend felt really solid. We were up off the start and had a strong sprint,” Lindsay Olsen ’12 said. “I think we can still work to find some speed through the middle of the race, but we’re making big improvements. We’re all very excited to race on our home course the next two weekends.”
The women’s 2V was next to hit the race course. Executing its game plan, the 2V successfully walked through all competitors by the 500-meter mark and continued to extend its lead down the course. Looking strong going into the last quarter of their piece, the Ephs finished with a time of 6:59.2. The women were followed by two boats that battled throughout the race: Simmons finished in 7:23.35 for second and WPI crossed the line in 7:23.89 to claim third. The remainder of the field trailed behind, with Conn. College finishing in a time of 7:51.5 and Franklin & Marshall pulling in at 8:05.8.
The last women’s event of the day was the third varsity eight. The 3V and rookie women lined up side by side for this final race. Only WPI and Simmons fielded third varsity eights and none of the other programs filled a novice eight boat.
This race proved to be the most exciting of the day for the Ephs. The 3V and novice boat pulled ahead off the start. Once the margin between the two Williams crews and their competitors was blown open, the novice eight fought to maintain contact with the 3V. The novice eight impressed with a finishing time of 7:24.6, but couldn’t best the 3V, which finished in 7:17.4 for first.
“It was great to race the novices: They have been good competition for us all season and both boats really enjoy pushing each other during practice,” 3V stroke Meg Steer ’13 said. “Ultimately, the 3V felt that we put together a solid race, but we know that there is much more speed to gain, and we look forward to finding our stride in the coming weeks.”
Williams will continue to test its speed on Saturday in a Little Three match-up against Amherst and Wesleyan at the women’s home Lake Onota.