It was a strong day of racing for women’s crew at the New England Rowing Championships on Saturday. The Williams crews went into their heats with the intention to place all five boats in the Grand Finals and they succeeded. The afternoon’s Grand Finals began with the novice four event. The rowers faced some tough competition from schools that specialize in fours, but they fought hard all the way across the line. The four placed fifth in the Grand Finals with a time of 8:36.5. In the women’s 3V Grand Final, the Ephs were strong off the start. Williams battled a tight pack of boats all the way down the course, finishing fourth in the Grand Final with a time of 7:30.5, 11 seconds behind first place Bates. Next down the course was the novice eight, which was seeded first in Grand Final. They continued to demonstrate their power and rhythm in the afternoon.
The novices placed first with a time of 7:22.2, eight seconds ahead of second place Wellesley. Next to hit the line was the Williams 2V. The 2V was a boat with a strong competitive spirit. Williams was seeded fourth coming out of heat racing and recognized that the afternoon would be a battle. Bates established a lead to start, while Wellesley, Williams and Wesleyan kept fighting for second and third place. Wellesley and Wesleyan took seats in the final 250 meters, leaving the Williams 2V without a spot on the podium. It was a close finish, with the Ephs’ time of 7.17.8 less than three seconds out of second place. The Grand Final for the women’s 1V was the last race of the day. The Ephs had the third fastest time of the heats behind Wellesley and Trinity. The 1V, evenly divided across grade levels, is comprised of Joowon Choi ’15, Steph Neul ’15, co-captain Piper Sallquist ’15, Katie Cavanaugh ’16, Katie Constantini ’16, Annie Tewksbury ’16, Gemma Holt ’17, Gabrielle Markel ’17 and Emory Strawn ’17. The 1V came out of the start even but pulled away from the first two crews with 750 meters to go. The Ephs and Bobcats fought hard for the entire sprint but the Bobcats came out ahead, finishing 0.14 seconds ahead of the Ephs’ time of 6:57.8.
“The races this weekend were really exciting,” Sallquist said. “We performed well in all boats and are excited to gain speed in the week before ECACs!” The Eph men and women won the Combined Team Points Trophy with a score of 146.97, ahead of second-place Bates with 121.6 points and third-place Trinity with 110.25 points. The Williams crews are excited to have another week on the water before returning to Worcester, Mass. next weekend for the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships on May 10.