Williams Rugby Fights Cold Weather For World Record
Updated April 25, 2011 at 1:16 p.m.: The game officially ended after 24 hours, five minutes and 15 seconds - setting the record. Williams won the game 818 to 711.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Breaking the world record for the longest women's rugby game is not easy; especially when Mother Nature adds snow, hail, gusting winds and rain to the equation.
The Williams College Women's Rugby team is battling Saturday both the weather and Keene State College for 24 hours to set a Guinness Book of World Record for the longest women's rugby game.
"Provided the weather doesn't get the best of us, we'll make it," Williams coach Gina Coleman said Saturday. "We certainly have the will and the stamina and wherewithal to do it."
The players started at 8 a.m. on Cole Field in the snow, but that switched to hail and eventually into rain while a strong wind tore through the field. After four hours, the players showed no signs of letting up – nor did the weather. Players were taking hour shifts on and an hour warming up, and a few players were examined by emergency personnel for fear of hypothermia.
"I have a small team in right now. We're taking shifts an hour in and an hour out," Keene State coach Karen Johannesen said. "We're using buses, cars, whatever we can to keep warm."
The two teams play a friendly game every year but this year they decided to shoot for the record to raise money for breast and colorectal cancer research. The game, titled Scrum for a Cure, received more than $7,000 in sponsorships and there are a few "sizable" donations contingent on completing the game that could bump the total to more than $8,000, Coleman said.
"It started as a small idea and snowballed into this great big thing," Johannesen said.
The game is being filmed and there is an official timer clicking away for when a representative from the Guinness Book of World Records verifies the record. The representative is expected to arrive Saturday night.
Area businesses have donated outdoor bathrooms, cots, tents and food to keep the players going.
"They haven't felt like they've been playing for four hours," Coleman said. "Their spirits are good."
Donations will be accepted until May 1 through the event's website and supports The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Manhattan Surgical Associates Gastrointestinal Surgery Research Foundation, Inc.
More photos are available here.
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Williams College Falls in Final Four
A photo from the live-stream video of the tournament while Williams watches Wooster celebrate.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — After blowing an 18-point lead in the second half, Williams College men's basketball team will not be playing for the title.
The Ephs were dealt a crushing lose Friday to the College of Wooster in the Division III semifinals at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Va. Williams blew an 18 point lead in the second half and could not get a last ditch effort by Taylor Epley to fall - losing the game 73 - 71.
Williams fans who made the trip to Virginia had a lot to cheer about in the first half but that changed in the second half. Williams blew an 18-point lead to lose out on a championship bid.
Williams stormed out of the gates hitting 7 3-pointers and out rebounding Wooster 17 to 13 in the first half. The Ephs returned to the locker room with a 42 - 28 lead.
But with about eight minutes left the complexion changed dramatically. In less than three minutes later, Wooster had cut the 18 point lead to three with 15 unanswered points.
Wooster took its first lead, 65 - 64, with only about three minutes left in the game.
But they fought back. Led by Troy Whittington, who finished the day with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks, the Ephs jousted with the Fighting Scots - exchanging baskets in the waning minutes.
Nate Robinson put the Ephs in the lead from the free-throw line with about one minute remaining. Robinson had an outstanding day sinking 21 points but when the Ephs were down by one with 35 seconds to go he missed a layup to give Wooster the ball.
Wooster's Nathan Balch was fouled to stop the clock and made only one of the two shots - giving the Ephs what could have been the final possession. They took the ball down the court and James Wang launched a 3-pointer for the win but missed.
But that was not quite the end, the rebound was tied up and the Ephs got another chance for the tie. With 2 seconds remaining the Ephs in-bounded the ball from the baseline to heavily defended Taylor Epley who could not send the game to overtime from the post.
Wooster outscored the Ephs 45 - 29 in the second half while Williams turned the ball over 10 times. The Ephs shooting percentage dropped from 65.2 percent in the first half down to just 36.8 percent in the second.
Wooster was led by their star Ian Franks who scored 24 with 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Wooster's Justin Hallowell scored 18 with 8 rebounds.
For Williams, Wang was held to 14 points and 6 rebounds.
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