Crew teams end fall seasons

Charles Ide and Rebecca Tauber

The men’s and women’s crew teams ended their season last weekend at Wormtown Chase in Worcester, Massachusetts and Head of the Fish in Saratoga Springs, New York, respectively. Highlights of the races included the novices competing for the first time, the men’s first varsity eight winning and one of the women’s varsity fours coming in second. 

The men sent four eights and a novice four to Lake Quinsigamond, where the course took crews through a 180 degrees turn around a series of islands before racing the length of the lake. In the morning, the newest crop of novices got its first taste of racing, finishing third in a time of 25:43. 

The varsity group all competed in the collegiate eight event. The 1V took gold with a time of 17:10. This time put the Ephs 15 seconds over second-place Wesleyan. The men’s 2V also turned in their best performance of the season with a time of 17:29, good for fourth overall and first among 2V crews. Demonstrating the team’s strong depth this fall, the 3V finished ninth overall and first among 3V crews with a time of 18:26. The 4V finished in 14th overall with a time of 19:31. 

In the 1V, six seat and co-captain Jarett Heflin ’20 was proud of the team. “Our boys have been putting it all on the line this fall and came to this last race hungrier than ever,” he said. “We flung into a headlong sprint at the outset and simply refused to relent. A great performance by the whole team, and I’m excited to see our strength improve through the winter.” 

In the 3V three seat, Max Chayet ’22 felt good about the race. “We had a great piece with a steady rhythm throughout to end the season on a high note to put an exclamation point on a long season of hard work.” 

On Fish Creek in New York, the women’s team fielded 10 boats, with many athletes rowing more than once. The boats included two 1V collegiate eights, one collegiate 2V eight, one collegiate 3V eight, one novice eight, three collegiate fours, one novice four and one open double. One of the fours earned second, and all the boats placed eighth or higher in their categories.  

The two boats in the 1V category started off the day with a strong showing, finishing fourth and fifth, in 11:41.6 and 11:46.28, respectively. As a new entry, the second eight started last in its category, passing Stony Brook within the first two hundred meters, and later passing Union and Iona in the last thousand meters.

On the heels of the second eight was the 2V category, where the Ephs finished sixth at 12:40.5, putting on an impressive showing in the 2V category as the team’s third eight, with a lineup of half experienced rowers and half novices.  

Next up came the novice four, who finished fourth with a time of 14:46.27, only four seconds off third place. The rest of the novices raced in an eight, finishing fifth with a time of 13:15.6, only five seconds off third.  

Ella Napack ’23 and Erin Barry ’23 kicked off the afternoon in a double, racing in the open category, including against three doubles of Olympic hopefuls, and came in eighth with a time of 13:56.9. 

“It was such a great end to the season to race in a double at this regatta,” Napack said. “Erin and I competed against each other at nationals in the quad, so it was awesome to be able to scull together now that we are teammates.”

The three collegiate fours concluded the day with a battle of the classes, with a sophomore, junior and mixed senior and sophomore fours. The juniors earned second place with a time of 12:58.9. “We bobbled a little bit off the start but then created a solid rhythm and raced with our teammates in the four ahead of us which was fun,” Anna Bruce  ’21 said. “It was very exciting to end the season with a second place finish.”  

The teams now look to gain speed on the erg indoors until they head to Myrtle Beach for their spring break trip in March.