Last weekend, men’s crew traveled to Lake Quinsigamond for its final regular season race against Holy Cross, Hobart and Bucknell. This race replaced the former Onota Cup in an attempt to increase the schedule strength for the Ephs. The first Williams boat to race was the 3V, racing as a 4V against Hobart’s 4V and Holy Cross’s 4V and 5V. The men held their own, finishing third ahead of Holy Cross’s 5V. Unfortunately, the Ephs were nearly 30 seconds behind the other two 4V boats. However, the 3V has improved significantly every week. With two weeks left, the Ephs are looking to make large gains in this boat. Next to race was the first freshman boat, racing as a 3V. The men came in fourth behind Holy Cross, Bucknell and Hobart, respectively. The boat finished in a time of 6:28.7. The 2V boats were next in what turned out to be a hotly-contested race.
Due to the intense wind in the starting area, the Ephs were blown out of position when the starter began the race. This misalignment caused the Ephs to hit some buoys out of the gates, costing them some early seats. The Ephs fought back, however, and were hanging onto the pack through the first 1000. Hobart began to drop the field and Williams dueled with Holy Cross and Bucknell for second. The men crossed the finish line in fourth with a time of 6:12.7, only 1.6 seconds back from Bucknell in third place, and 4.1 seconds back from Holy Cross in second place. Hobart crossed the line first in 6:00.3. The 1V boats were last to race. The men got off to a blazing start, nudging their bow ahead at the 200-meter mark, but Holy Cross and Hobart began to move back. By the 700-meter mark, Holy Cross was out ahead of Hobart by a few seats, who was in turn stern to bow on Williams. The men carried a four-seat advantage on Bucknell. The race separated as Holy Cross and Hobart dueled through the finish line, while the men created space off Bucknell.
The final order was Holy Cross in 5:55.3, Hobart in 5:56.2, Williams in 6:08.3 and Bucknell in 6:15.7. “The goal for last week was to train very hard right up to and into the Saturday race since we knew ultimately a perfect race for us along with a Holy Cross and Hobart having off races would result is us having a shot at victory,” Head Coach Peter Wells said. “Because of this we used the week and race to be able to closely see and experience that there are much faster crews both in our league and not in our league and if we want to be competitive with such programs at any time, we all have to make the effort to do what we can off and on the water to help collectively attain this goal and then value that level and continue with more earnest to maintain it.” The men travel to Lake Quinsigamond for the New England Rowing Championships this weekend. The Ephs finished first last year in the 1V and 2V boats.