Women’s crew tops Donahue Cup races

After struggling with the adversity of poor conditions at the temporary practice site in Buskirk, N.Y. and limited water time, women’s crew was at a clear disadvantage going into its regatta last weekend. However, they did not let this setback get the better of them, and were able to claim the Donahue Cup at Lake Quinsigamond.

Continuing their winning streak this season, the women defended their title at the Donahue Cup, facing competitors such as Franklin & Marshall, WPI, Simmons and Conn. College.

The first race of the day was the 3V race. Although they battled hard with WPI, the women ultimately came in second place when WPI began walking forward past the 1000-meter mark.

The second boat to race was the women’s 1V. The line-up was adjusted slightly from the previous weekend, but the changes only served to make the team stronger and even more determined. Despite an uncertain start, Williams came from behind and surged forward to win first place with a time of 6:52.20, nine seconds faster than WPI.

The third race was the women’s 2V. The Ephs spent the first 1000 meters of the race battling for first, eventually pulling ahead. WPI fought to reclaim the lead all the way to the finish line, yet it was a clear-cut win for the women who finished five seconds in front of the closest competition with a final time of 7:15.10.

The final boat to race was the novice boat. Racing fiercely, the novice crew was the unquestionable winner, with a strong time of 7:36.80. They were the only novice crew that finished with a time of less than eight minutes.

“The team as a whole raced with determination,” Head Coach Kate Maloney said. “I thought the boats handled the adversity of limited water time well. Racing good competition hilighted what our strengths and weaknesses are, and we will spend the next week endeavouring to find more speed.”

“This weekend was a fantastic chance for us to get out and race on Lake Quinsigamond before championship season,” co-captain Katherine Amano ’13 said. “It was encouraging to get a ‘W,’ while at the same time recognizing that we have more speed to gain.”

The women will return to their original practice site on Lake Onota this week. Though the water level is still very low, it has now become safe for the women to row on, with enough of the deeper areas to hold effective team practices on the water.

Williams will journey to Middletown, Conn., this coming weekend for the Little Three regatta against Wesleyan. Amherst will not be participating in the event.

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