Women’s crew raced last Saturday at the New England Rowing Championships on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. Each of the four eights rowed strong races amidst tough competition, especially from perennial rivals Trinity and Bates.
In the morning, the women started off rowing in qualifying heats, which would determine if crews rowed in the afternoon’s Grand or Petite Finals. The novices hit the water first, winning their heat with a seven-second advantage over second-place Wesleyan. The 3V came in second behind Bates, also securing a spot in the Grand Final. Bates managed to best the 2V as well, but the women beat Wellesley to secure a second-place finish. The 1V rowed the last of the heats, coming in second behind Bates and ahead of Smith.
With all four crews racing in the Grand Finals, the women had their work cut out for them. The 3V raced first and rowed strong from the start, though the women fell behind slightly at the 1000 meter mark. Fighting all the way through the finish line, the Ephs took third, earning a bronze medal with a time of 7:33.81.
The novice crews lined up next, seeded third. The first-years exploded off the line to take a slight lead on Trinity, though they fell behind in the second half of the race. The women managed to hold off Mount Holyoke in the final 500 meters and finished second in 7:29.03, six seconds behind Trinity.
Seeded fourth after the morning heats, the 2V women lined up for the Grand Final knowing that they would face fast competition. Trinity and Bates leapt away from the field at the start, with the women and Wesleyan competing for third. By the final 500, Bates secured open water on the rest of the field with Trinity holding in second, while the women and Wesleyan continued their duel. Wesleyan executed a powerful sprint, finishing five and a half seconds ahead of the women, who finished in 7:24.36.
The women’s 1V wrapped up the day in another hard-fought race. Coming through the 1000 meter mark, the women were even with Trinity, Bates and Wellesley. Bates began to move ahead of the field with 750 meters to go, and Trinity made its move with 250 to go. The Ephs finished third with a time of 7:03.74, only three seconds behind the first-place Bobcats and one-tenth of a second ahead of the fourth-place Blues.
As a team, the women took third in the women’s point trophy, falling one point short of Bates, who came in second. Trinity took home the title.
“We had a really exciting weekend of racing,” co-captain Tala Abujbara ’14 said. “I’m proud of our performance and to have had three boats reach the medals dock on Saturday afternoon.”
The women will return to the water in Worcester this weekend for the ECACs on May 11.
“We are approaching training with ferocity this week and are looking forward to racing again at ECACs on Sunday,” Abujbara said.