Men’s crew had a highly successful day at the New England Rowing Championships last Saturday, taking home gold in both the Varsity and Second Varsity events. The Championships were held on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass., and teams from the NESCAC and beyond competed. Conditions were uncharacteristically favorable, with some variable wind but relatively flat water.
The 1V, 2V and first-year boats all raced in morning heats in order to qualify for finals in the afternoon. All three boats finished first in their respective heats by comfortable margins, earning them prime lane assignments in the Grand Final. The 3V race had only six entries, so it was a final-only race.
The first-years raced in the first final of the afternoon. After strong regular season performances, they were eager to test their speed against some of the more formidable New England opponents, such as Trinity and Boston College. Unfortunately, they came up .8 seconds short to Boston College.
The 3V final came next on the schedule. The boat, consisting of both varsity and walk-on men, faced off against crews from Wesleyan, Trinity, Bates, WPI and UMass Amherst. The men crossed the line in fifth place after a hard-fought race.
The 2V had the most spectacular demonstration of speed of the day, getting open water over the entire field by 500 meters into the race and continuing to extend the margin all the way through the finish for a win by nine seconds over second place WPI. The boat, featuring several seniors, celebrated ecstatically on the dock by tossing coxswain Andrew Marsh ’14 into the lake with the rest of the senior class not far behind.
“We got off to a really strong start and rowed a really pretty race,” co-captain Nick Evert ’14 said. “We got the result we wanted and we all want to do it again next weekend.”
The 1V went off the line and found themselves ahead just 20 strokes into the race. Guided by coxswain Maggie Hughes ’15 and senior stroke Erick Quay ’14, the boat continued to fight through the other boats and gained open water by 1000 meters in. The rest of the field fought hard behind them, but Williams still finished up by four seconds and celebration ensued on the dock.
Despite placing all boats in Grand Finals, Williams was edged out for the points trophy by Boston College, who rowed two fours instead of a 3V, earning more cumulative points as a result. Regardless, the program had a very strong showing at the regatta and all of the men are looking forward to racing again next weekend on Lake Quinsigamond in the ECAC National Invitational Collegiate Regatta. “I’m really proud of how all the boats did,” Evert said. “There were so many awesome results, especially in the varsity program. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it and I’m really looking forward to next weekend.”
The ECAC National Invitational Regatta will feature strong competition, most notably defending champion Michigan, as well as Bucknell, Hobart, Marist and Ithaca. The Ephs were able to capture second in the 1V and 2V boats last year, and after a successful run at the New England Championships in addition to their Little Three title, are looking to best last years performance.