WORCESTER, Mass. — It was a strong day for the Ephs at the New England Rowing Championships on Saturday at Lake Quinsigamond. Williams crew entered four eights into this championship race.
Coming into the weekend, the Ephs were excited to test their speed against some new competitors. In the morning, the Williams crews went into their heats with the intention to place all four boats in the Grand Finals. With one first place heat finish and three second place heat finishes, the Ephs were able to secure seeding in four afternoon Grand Finals.
In the women's 3V Grand Final, Williams was strong off the start. Falling slightly behind by the thousand meter mark the Ephs kept pushing for the bronze medal all the way to the finish line. The Ephs finished third in the Grand Final with a time of 7:33.81, nine seconds ahead of fourth place WPI.
Next, the Novice eight jumped off the line and held with a pack of speedy crews all the way to the thousands. The freshmen were seeded third going into the afternoon grand final after a strong morning heat performance. Trinity remained aggressive and was able to take seats on Williams in the second thousand. Williams continued to fight as Mt. Holyoke started to come up from behind. Fighting to the finish, Williams finished second with a time of 7:29.03, six seconds behind trinity and one second ahead of Mt Holyoke.
"Today was a mixed day of racing for us: it marked the amazing progress we've made as a team and as a boat, but it also gave us a taste of disappointment," said freshman six seat Deanna Segall. "We have our work cut out for us, and we have even more fire in us than ever before. I'm so excited to put that drive to work and add to the speed we have already accomplished."
Next to hit the line was the Williams 2V. Williams was seeded fourth coming out of heat racing and recognized that the afternoon would be a battle. Trinity and Bates were quick off the start, leading the field at the 1000 meter mark. Williams and Wesleyan kept surging and fighting for bronze, bow ball to bow ball. Bates had open water on the field by the final 500 and Trinity was solidly in second, it was still between Williams and Wesleyan for third. Wesleyan had a powerful sprint to finish ahead of Williams by 5.5 seconds. Williams finished fourth with a time of 7:24.36. Despite disappointment, the 2V was excited to have such great competition and looks forward to finding more speed this week before going up against these teams again.
"The 2V made some great changes and tapped into a new level of aggression," said freshman seven seat Gemma Holt. "I'm looking forward to seeing how another week of training can push us towards successful racing at ECACs."
The Grand Final for the women's 1V was the final race of the day. The Ephs fought their way through the thousand to stay even with Trinity, Bates and Wellesley. Coming across the 750 Bates started moving up on the field seat by seat. The top four crews were moving together into the last 250 when Williams and Wellesley fell several seats behind Williams and Wellesley. Williams finished third with a time of 7:03.74, three seconds behind Bates and only .1 second ahead of Wellesley.
"We had a good day of racing from all crews," said sophomore six seat Sophia Jannetty. "It was awesome seeing the Frosh coming together and landing on the medal stand at their first championship race. The varsity crews are looking forward to working in this upcoming week to gain speed as we move towards ECACs."
Overall, the Ephs were 1 point short of second in the Women's point Trophy this year. Trinity took the trophy with Bates in second place, followed by Williams.
The Ephs will have another week on the water before returning to Worcester for the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships next weekend, May 11.
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