Women’s crew places two in top ten at Head of the Fish

Women’s crew finished its fall racing season with solid performances at the Head of the Fish Regatta in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Competing for the first time this year as a combined varsity and novice squad, the women took on a 3.8-kilometer course in some of the best racing conditions in recent memory.

The 1V – comprised of Joowon Choi ’15, Andrea Dunchus ’15, Steph Neul ’15, Katie Westervelt ’16, Gemma Holt ’17, Katie Swoap ’17, Bertie Miller ’18, Aisling O’Sullivan ’18 and co-captain Piper Sallquist ’15 – placed second behind UMass Amherst with a time of 12:25.88. The women edged out Middlebury and finished ahead of Wesleyan and RIT.

In the second race of the day, the 2V came off the line first, only to fall to the UMass Amherst 2V by a slim margin of 0.7 seconds. The boat – composed of Katie Cavanaugh ’16, Molly Burroughs ’17, Paloma Dominguez ’17, Deanna Segall ’17, Emory Strawn ’17, Ellie Wachtel ’17,  Louisa Abel ’18, Clara Beery ’18 and co-captain Christine Cunningham ’15 – finished in 12:56.36, ahead of Wesleyan and the UMass Amherst 3V.

As one of two schools to race three novice eights, the women exhibited speed and depth that will carry the team forward. The “A” boat finished second behind UMass and ahead of Colgate and William Smith. The “B” placed eighth, ahead of Ithaca’s “B” boat, while the “C” boat finished 24th.

The team also raced several fours in addition to the usual lineups in both the varsity and novice divisions. The three varsity fours were organized by class, with the “A” boat hosting the all-senior lineup of Choi, Neul, Sallquist, Cunningham and Dunchus. The “B” boat featured juniors Westervelt, Cavanaugh, Mary Ignatiadis ’16, Katherine Shamsie ’16 and Kathryn Dix ’18, while the “C” boat consisted of sophomores Holt, Strawn, Swoap, Segall and Wachtel. The “A” boat placed third behind two boats from UMass Amherst, while “B” placed seventh and “C” finished in 15th. In addition, two novice fours raced in the morning. The “A” boat came in third behind UMass and Colgate, while the “B” boat placed ninth, ahead of St. Lawrence.

“As a team we had a strong performance at the Head of the Fish,” Sallquist said. “This regatta was the first of the season where varsity and novice boats raced, and it was a great way to end the head racing season. The enthusiasm and tenacity we showed on Saturday will only magnify in the winter as we begin our indoor training season. We will be training on the erg throughout the winter, with our focus on the spring sprint season.”

The women are looking forward to the spring sprint season, which will begin in late February. Last year, the women finished in second at the NCAA Championships to NESCAC rival Trinity. They hope to improve upon last year’s performance.