Women’s crew seeks 10th national title

After an exciting fall season and long winter of indoor training, women’s crew is ready to once again show its dominance on the water. The always-competitive Ephs enter the season with the goal of advancing to the NCAA championships in May and competing for their 10th national title.

The women finished their fall season in late October with a strong showing at the Head of the Fish Regatta, where the Ephs rowed to second place in the 1V, 2V and novice eight races. Williams was also one of only two teams at the regatta to field three novice eights, and the team is looking to use that depth to its advantage in the spring sprint season.

The Ephs’ impressive spring season last year ended with a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships, where Trinity came out on top. This result will certainly be in the minds of this year’s squad as it looks to get back on the water against its NESCAC rival and others this spring.

The Ephs faces stiff competition this year from within the NESCAC, as both Trinity and Bates finished ahead of the Williams 1V boat at this fall’s Head of the Charles Regatta. However, under strong senior leadership and with the return of five juniors who spent the fall abroad, the Ephs are ready to continue their winning legacy this season.

“We’re looking forward to a competitive season and are excited to begin to put together lineups on our spring training trip,” co-captain Piper Sallquist ’15 said on the team’s hopes for the spring. “After our long and physically demanding indoor season, we can’t wait to create cohesive and fast boats from novice to varsity.”

Sallquist is joined in leading the team by co-captain Christine Cunningham ’15, as well as returning seniors Joowon Choi ’15, Stephanie Neul ’15 and Andrea Dunchus ’15.

The Ephs will travel to Myrtle Beach, S.C. over spring break to take their first on-water strokes of the season and prepare for the first race of the season, an April 4 contest in Philadelphia, Penn. known as the Murphy Cup.

This year’s team features a novice squad of 21 first-years. After getting their first exposure to collegiate racing in the Head of the Housatonic and Head of the Fish regattas this fall, this year’s crop of novices are excited to expand their on-water experience and contribute to the team’s success in this spring’s series of 2k races.

Following the Murphy Cup, the Ephs will row against WPI and MIT in Worchester, Mass. on April 11, where the women’s 1V won last year by a margin of six seconds. Subsequently, the team will compete to claim the Little Three title against Wesleyan and Amherst at a location to be determined on April 18.

Championship season will begin for the Ephs at the New England Rowing Championships on May 2 also to be held in Worchester, a regional  championship regatta for qualifying colleges throughout Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. 1200 rowers and 36 schools compete in the event every year. Following New England’s, the Ephs will compete at the Eastern College Athletic Conference National Invitational Rowing Championships from May 10-11.  The team’s successes at this tournament last year included the 1V boat coming in second place and the 2V boat earning fourth place, just shy of medaling in the championship competition.