Women’s crew places 2nd, earns NCAA bid

Melissa Cendejas ’16 scored the lone run in the women’s 1-0 victory over Western New England last Saturday.

Women’s crew returned to Lake Quinsigamond last weekend for the ECAC Championships. The women fielded four eights and an open four. Williams won the Combined Team Points Trophy for the third year in a row with a score of 125, thanks to strong showings on the women’s and men’s teams. The open four raced first, placing second in its heat and fifth in the Grand Final. This novice boat took on varsity crews and chased them all the way down the course. The 3V followed. Racing in a revised lineup from the previous weekend, the 3V placed second in its heat, six seconds behind Bates. The women followed up with a fourth-place finish in the Grand Final that afternoon, missing the podium by a mere 1.8 seconds. Tightly packed off the start, Bates moved to the front while Williams, Trinity and Wesleyan remained roughly even through the 1000-meter mark. Though the other crews gained ground slowly, the women drew even with third-place Wesleyan with 275 meters to go.

Both boats sprinted hard, but the Cardinals pulled ahead to edge out the Ephs. The novice eight hit the course next, looking to repeat its resounding victory at the New England Championships. The women capitalized on their speed and won both their heat and the Grand Final, defeating second-place Wellesley by a margin of nine seconds. The 2V raced in a new lineup in an effort to improve on its fourth-place finish last weekend. The women qualified for the Grand Final handily, placing second behind Wesleyan by two seconds. Though again faced with a fourth place finish in the afternoon finals, the women closed the margin on third-place Trinity to 3.5 seconds. Competing for an automatic qualification to the NCAA Championships, the 1V took to the course with a mission.

The women won their heat with open water and a five-second gap on Hamilton, advancing to the Grand Final. The race remained close all the way down the course, with perennial powerhouses Williams, Bates and Trinity battling hard. The Bobcats emerged on top, besting the Ephs by three seconds. “The regatta was good,” said co-captain Piper Sallquist ’15. “We got the overall team champion at ECACs. The season has been solid and we have been continually improving. We had an interesting start – we didn’t get to row out of our boathouse for a few weeks because the lake was frozen. It’s been a really interesting season, but we are figuring out how to make speed out of unpredictable circumstances.” The Ephs say goodbye to seniors Sallquist, Joowon Choi ’15, Andrea Dunchus ’15, Stephanie Neul ’15 and co-captain Christine Cunningham ’15.