Women’s crew takes on choppy Charles River

Last weekend, women’s crew sent boats to race on the Charles River in Boston against crews from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Simmons and Conn. College. The Ephs kept calm in extremely challenging conditions and finish first in both of the races.

The 1V opened the day of racing. The Ephs took the lead off the start and held their position all the way through the finish. Williams finished with a time of 8:25.91.

The women’s 2V followed the example of the 1V. Although the women were challenged by WPI off the start, the 2V took advantage of a crab caught by WPI to establish a commanding lead. The Ephs finished in a time of 8:39.80.

Over spring break, the Ephs travelled down to Myrtle Beach, S.C. in order to find speed for the racing season.

The team graduated six seniors from last year’s varsity squad but has welcomed back five juniors from study abroad programs across the globe. This has led to shifting lineups for the 1V and 2V boats.

The team is led by co-captain Christine Cunningham ’15, co-captain Piper Sallquist ’15, Joowon Choi ’15, Andrea Dunchus ’15 and Stephanie Neul ’15.  The seniors were an integral part of leading the team through the long months of winter training.

The women concluded their two-week training trip with races in Philadelphia, Penn. against Bucknell, Drexel and Temple.

The 2N took the water first, facing Bucknell in the first of their two match-ups. The women handled challenging conditions with poise, but lost by a margin of 30 seconds.

Following hot on their heels, the 1N raced against Drexel. The women finished in 7:20.7, three seconds behind Drexel, who crossed the line in 7:17.6. The varsity four raced next against Drexel. The women beat Drexel by open water, finishing in 8:17.8, with a margin of 17 seconds. The 2V hit the course after the fours, racing both Drexel and Washington College. The Ephs placed second, beating Washington College by 42 seconds and trailing Drexel by four seconds. Closing out the morning racing, the 1V faced off against Drexel and Washington College. Though the women lost to Drexel by 10.1 seconds, they crushed Washington College, crossing the line 33.7 seconds before the Shorewomen.

After a short break, the women returned to the water to take on Temple. The winds remained gusty and unpredictable, reaching speeds of 25 miles per hour. The 2N opened the afternoon with a rematch against Bucknell. Though the women lost for the second time, they closed the margin on Bucknell’s 2N from the morning. The 1N was the first Williams crew to challenge Temple. The Ephs rowed a hard fought race, trailing the Owls by 17 seconds and finishing in 7:29.6.

The varsity four made its second appearance of the day in a slightly different lineup. The women maintained contact with the Temple boat for the entire race, but lost by three seconds in a heated sprint. The 2V also went out in a slightly different lineup and fought hard throughout the entire race, although the women could not catch up to Temple in the final 500 meters. They lost by one second, finishing in 6:55.0.

The 1V faced challenging conditions in the final race of the day but came out victorious against the Temple crew. They beat the Owls by nearly four seconds, finishing in 6:59.3.

This weekend, the women race against Wesleyan in the Little Three Regatta. Amherst has not participated for a number of years and will not be joining. The race will likely be held on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass.