Women’s crew officially opened its fall season on Oct. 6 with a strong showing at the Head of the Housatonic against some of the top Div. I and Div. III crews in the nation. The team entered three varsity fours and two eights in the various head races against some of the strongest NESCAC and national competitors. The women’s 1V took seventh place, racing against top Div. I competition. Yale won the race on their home course. The 2V put up a strong showing in the non Div. I eight-plus race, finishing in sixth. In the collegiate four-plus race, Williams snared second and third, finishing just behind the first-place boat from Trinity.
The morning began with a non-Div. I collegiate four-plus race, in which the Williams ‘A’ and ‘B’ crews finished second and third, respectively. The Williams ‘A’ boat completed the course in 18:20.39, just 12 seconds shy of Trinity ‘A’, while the Williams ‘B’ boat cruised into the finish with a time of 18:38.6, 14 seconds ahead of Wesleyan ‘A’. The novice four bested the competition in the novice race that followed, coming in first with a time of 18:56.86 just before Fairfield.
The real test came later in the day, when the Ephs’ varsity eight matched up with some of the top Div. I crews in the country. The women came in seventh, just behind Brown and just ahead of Harvard, in a final time of 16:01.48.
The last showdown of the afternoon was for the Williams 2V, which was entered in a non-Div. I race against the 1V and 2V eights from predominantly NESCAC crews. Even with the stiff competition, the 2V finished solidly in sixth place behind West Point and ahead of Coast Guard with a time of 17:20.11.
“Racing at the [Housatonic] was an exciting opportunity for us to test our speed,” co-captain Kat Amano ’13 said. “We put up some solid results, and were able figure out some things we can focus on in order to gain speed through the rest of the fall, winter training and into our primary season in the spring. We have a young and enthusiastic team this year, and it was incredible to see many of our novices and sophomore women bringing pride as they raced in purple [uniforms] for the first time.”
Head Coach Kate Maloney echoed Amano’s positive reaction to the weekend. “[We] had a solid first outing at the Head of the Housatonic,” she said. “There is more speed to be had, but this is a very hardworking and committed group. I was proud of the freshmen, who were representing the program for the first time, and look forward to their continued development, and I think the upperclassmen, as a whole, are excited to continue training hard and look forward to some tough, fast racing ahead.”
Now that the women have had their first chance to test their mettle, the Ephs will head back to Lake Onota with the hopes of developing their fastest lineups and a more cohesive rhythm. With two more weeks of intense practice under their belts, the women have the potential to make an impressive showing at the Head of the Charles this weekend in Boston.
“The [Housatonic] was a solid first step in our season but it also showed us where we need to work to move forward,” co-captain Dana Golden ’13 said. “The fours did especially well. In the varsity and second varsity eights we are continuing to work towards finding our competitive stride so that we can perform to our ability next weekend at the Head of the Charles in Boston.”