Men’s crew defeats Tufts, MIT

Bernal Cortés, Sports Information

No. 1 ranked men’s crew beat No. 2 Tufts and MIT on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Sports Information.)

Men’s crew hosted Tufts University and the MIT lightweight team for a beautiful morning of racing on Lake Onota. The conditions were great for racing with almost no wind and a temperature in the low 50s. No. 1 ranked men’s crew had an impressive day, beating No. 2 Tufts and MIT in the first, second, and third varsity eights.

The first varsity eight was up first on the day, lining up for a rematch against Tufts and a first look against the MIT lightweights. Coming off the early portion of the race, Williams sat just down on Tufts but ahead of MIT. The Ephs maintained composure and quickly took the lead through the first 500 meters, holding off Tufts and MIT down the course finishing first in a time of 6:00.

Three-seat Riley Will ’22 characterized the race as competitive. “Given how Tufts has been racing this season, we knew going into this race that they were going to be some of our toughest Div. III competition,” he said. “Our start was very solid and set up the rest of the race really well. After a bit of back and forth, we went up more than a half-length at the 500m mark. After that, it was just a matter of continuing to pull away from the field.” Tufts crossed the line second in a time of 6:05.07, with MIT just behind in 6:05.4.

The second varsity eight was up next, looking to avenge a loss to Tufts earlier in the spring. Coming out of the first 250 meters, the Williams crew sat just back on the field, but as the boats settled into the race, they began to gain some momentum. The Ephs crew worked through both Tufts and MIT and, by the 750-meter mark, had moved to a length lead on the field. Williams held this margin through the middle of the race and opened the final margin to multiple lengths of open water. “I was really proud of how we rowed with composure and consistency today,” coxswain Katie Friedman ʼ22 said. “We came in knowing that establishing an aggressive base rhythm would be key, and really committed to that time and again down the course.” The final order was Williams in first place in 6:14.00, Tufts in second in 6:21.84, and MIT third in 6:24.39.

The third varsity eight was up next on the day, also racing Tufts and the MIT lightweights. The Williams crew had a solid race, pulling ahead of the field early in the race and continuing to open the margin with a solid base rhythm. Williams crossed the line first with a time of 6:32.05, Tufts was next in 6:44.84, and MIT last in a time of 6:53.65.

The fourth varsity eight would round out the day for men’s crew. Tufts gained an early lead on the Williams boat coming through the first 250 meters, but Williams fought hard and managed to keep contact with the Tufts boat down the length of the course. However, the Tufts boat was able to keep their bowball ahead, finishing before the Williams crew. “Although the result of the race may not have been exactly what we were hoping for, I think that a lot of the things we’ve been working on in the last few weeks have really started to come together and that was on display today,” two-seat Logan McClennen ʼ24 said. “Tufts rowed a great piece and pulled ahead in the first 200m and held that margin for the rest of the race at a much higher rate than us. We might not have gotten it this week, but we’ll see them again next weekend with a clean slate. We know what we want to improve in the next five days, and I’m excited to see how we can keep building on what we did well.” The final times were Tufts in first with a time of 6:45.9 to Williams’s 6:52.97.

“It was nice to finally have the opportunity to race in flat conditions,” head coach Marc Mandel said. “I felt all of our boats had their best races of the season today, reflecting where they’ve been focusing during practice. Definitely looking forward to trying to build on this momentum in the weeks ahead.”

Men’s crew heads to Lake Quinsigamond for the New England Rowing Championships next weekend.