Women’s crew finished last spring on a high note with both the first varsity and second varsity boats winning their grand finals at Nationals to combine for Williams’ seventh straight NCAA Championship. The Ephs hope to continue their success this year and extend their already impressive winning streak.
The fall racing season is primarily viewed as a training season for the women; however, the team is still looking to perform to the best of its abilities in its three fall events. The women’s first test of the season comes this weekend at the Head of the Housatonic in Derby, Conn., where they will row against host Yale, as well as other top Div. I talent in Brown and Radcliffe (Harvard).
For Head Coach Kate Maloney, the trip down to Yale will be a return to her old stomping grounds: Maloney was an assistant coach at Yale before arriving at the College last year. She sees this first trip as an opportunity to “measure ourselves against some very fast competition to see where we stand before the Head of the Charles.”
The premier event in the fall season for the women will be the Head of the Charles regatta in Boston on Oct. 21. The Ephs will be led by co-captains Dana Golden ’13 and Kat Amano ’13, both of whom have extensive experience racing on the course. The course on the Charles River is a tricky one that requires a more strategic approach than most head races. The Ephs have two boats entered in the contest following a dominant first- and sixth-place finish last year. The crew hopes to put up similar numbers this season in its quest for another undefeated season.
The Ephs will have to work to make up for the loss of the large and powerful 2012 class. Last year’s 12 seniors took with them a wealth of experience, with many of the women having rowed in the first varsity boat for four years.
Additionally, the team will compete in the fall season with a reduced junior class due to the draw of study abroad for many athletes. However, this provides an opportunity for many younger rowers, including a large group of 15 novices, to prove themselves on the varsity stage and gain valuable collegiate experience before the more competitive spring season. “What we lack in experience, we make up for in energy and excitement,” Amano said. Hopefully this excitement will help carry the team through what is sure to be a trying fall season without the leadership that experience can afford.
The women will conclude their fall season at the Head of the Fish in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Oct. 27. The regatta is traditionally focused on the team’s novice boats, which usually perform very well.
“We put in a lot of work in the off season, and we have been getting lots of mileage on the water,” Golden said. “So we hope to translate that work into boat speed for the Charles and into the winter.”
The women’s first test of the fall season will be when they compete at the Head of the Housatonic on Saturday.