Women’s crew notches Little 3, Onota Cup wins

Last Saturday, women’s crew defended the Onota Cup on its home course in Pittsfield, Mass., facing Coast Guard and Ithaca. After a break, the women raced in the rescheduled Little Three Regatta against Wesleyan. Amherst did not participate in the event, which was moved from April 19 due to high winds.

The 3V women took to the water first, facing Ithaca at 9 a.m. A crew composed of both walk-on first-years and returning varsity rowers, the women pulled a strong race to beat their opponent by almost six seconds, with a time of 7:48.7. The second race of the day featured 1V boats from all three Onota Cup competitors. The women managed to break away from the others from the start, gaining open water on Ithaca and Coast Guard by the 1000-meter mark. At the finish, the women extended their lead and finished first with a time of 7:03.8, almost 15 seconds ahead of Ithaca and over 30 seconds ahead of Coast Guard. The 2V faced off against Ithaca next, and though the women managed to hold off Ithaca for the first half of the race, their opponent pulled ahead in the second half to finish five seconds before the women.

“The 2V had a bit of a frustrating day,” co-captain Sarah Peters ’14 said. “We thought we’d figured some things out in practice last week, and it was disappointing to see those changes not translate to results during the race.”

The morning racing wrapped up with the novice eights from all three schools on the line. Williams’ novices emerged victorious with a time of 7:25.7, besting Ithaca’s boat by four seconds and Coast Guard by 24 seconds.

The women then kicked off the Little Three Regatta against Wesleyan. Afternoon racing started with the 1V, which managed to take seats on its rival every 500 meters. Never missing a beat, the women finished in 6:57.8 and bested Wesleyan by seven seconds. The 2V took to the water second, and saw similar results to the morning’s race. The women kept pace with Wesleyan for the first 1000 meters but ultimately finished second with a time of 7:24.6, 12 seconds behind their opponent. The third race featured the novice eights from both schools. The Williams boat finished first, breaking away from Wesleyan early in the race to finish in 7:23.1, about nine seconds ahead. The 3V rowed the last race of the day, which the women won by walking through Wesleyan in their sprint. The Ephs beat the Cardinals by five seconds, finishing in 7:25.4.

“Overall, it was a good day of racing for the team,” Peters said. “We faced some fast competition that was a good preview of what’s to come as we enter our championship season.”

Despite racing on tired legs, all four crews rowed faster races in the afternoon. This comes as welcome news considering the next two regattas, New England Rowing Championship and ECACs, May 3 and 11 respectively, both require crews to race twice in a day.

“Today was an informative day, all around,” Head Coach Kate Maloney said. “I thought our team did a great job of managing the double dual format and took advantage of the flat water to find some more speed. We still have work to do, but I look forward to watching them work to find that next gear.”

The Ephs will travel to Worcester, Mass. on Saturday for the New England Rowing Championships.