CAMBRIDGE, MA—On the biggest stage in the rowing world and for the first time in program history, the Williams College women’s varsity eight captured the first place in the collegiate eight event at the Head of the Charles Regatta. Showcasing the impressive depth of the Williams program was the women’s 2V who placed fourth in the same event. Bates College and Trinity College took second and third place, respectively.
The Williams 1V began the race with bow number two, seeded directly behind the defending champion, Trinity, with whom the Ephs have had countless close races in past years. Off the start, the Ephs found themselves in choppy water that marred the first portion of the course. Despite rough water early on, which the women described as advantageous given the frequently rough conditions of Lake Onota, the 1V powered through with Trinity in their sights and began to move on their competition.
With a mile down in the race, Williams began closing the gap between themselves and Trinity, finally making contact with the Bantams as they passed through the Anderson Bridge, nearly two miles into the three-mile race. With coxswain Allison Prevatt ’09 skillfully maneuvering the nearly 180 degree turn that comes in the final mile, the Williams women broke away from Trinity as they passed through the Eliot Bridge and used the tailwind to their advantage to cruise to the finish line, well ahead of Trinity.
Bow seat Katherine Robinson ’09 was very pleased with the way her teammates handled themselves as the race unfolded. “We had talked a lot about our race beforehand,” said Robinson, “and while parts of the race didn’t actually go as we planned, we still responded in an admirable way to the conditions and it shows we can step up to be the mature racers that we need to be.”
While their defeat of Trinity was already confirmed, the Ephs would need to wait until the completion of the race to learn their result. The Bates 1V, with bow number four, crossed the finish line not far behind the Ephs, assuring themselves a spot near the top. “Bates was only four seconds off us,” said Prevatt. “They’ve always been aggressive, but this is the first time in a while they’ve been up there, so that’s impressive”.
The Williams 2V, further back in the start order, with bow number 14, took to the course with the Tufts 1V and the Bates 2V directly in front of them. Encountering the same choppy water the 1V saw earlier in the race, the Ephs forged ahead and rowed with composure and maturity towards calmer waters. With the highly technical turns and bridges coming up, coxswain Monsie Munoz ’09 urged her crew to make time in early in the race and get ahead of crews that could slow them down later. The Ephs did just that, passing Tufts and Bates before the Weeks Bridge, a mile and a half into the race and allowing themselves a relatively smooth ride and a direct line through the remainder of the course.
“I was very impressed by the way our young lineup handled the race,” said Munoz of her crew of five sophomores and three freshmen. “They were aggressive and eager, but at the same time very controlled and went after their goals for the race together.”
The women's 1V receiving their first place trophy and medals.
The women's 2V rowed a tremendous race to take 4th place overall.
It wasn’t until after the race was complete and the women were off the water that they learned of their results—the Williams 1V took first place by four seconds (17:11.65) over the hard-charging second place Bates 1V (17:15.36). Seventeen seconds back the Trinity 1V was third (17:32.85) with the Williams 2V rowing an impressive race to take fourth (17:40.82).
The Williams women, third in this event in 2007 and second in 2005, made history this weekend by winning the collegiate eight event, a first for the Williams women’s rowing program. "We’ve never won before ,” remarked 1V stroke Sam Smith ’09, “and it’s so great to a part of a historic moment”.
The 1V was joined in their victory by the Williams varsity men who captured the title in the men's collegiate eight event.
The Ephs will conclude their fall season next weekend with the Head of the Fish Regatta in Saratoga, NY, where the focus will shift to the novice women and giving them racing experience they can take with them into winter training.
Coxswain Allison Prevatt ‘09
Stroke Sam Smith ‘09
7 Seat Kat Conaway ‘09
6 Seat Dorothy MacAusland ‘12
5 Seat Sarah Ginsberg ‘10
4 Seat Jess Kopcho ‘09
3 Seat Kate Shaper ‘12
2 Seat Elissa Brown ‘09
Bow Katherine Robinson ‘09
Coxswain Monsie Munoz ‘09
Stroke Heather Burrell ‘11
7 Seat Jane McClellan ‘12
6 Seat Emma Pelegri-O’Day ‘12
5 Seat Sydney Tooze ‘12
4 Seat Bianca Czaderna ‘11
3 Seat Ellen Stuart ‘11
2 Seat Adrienne Darrow ‘11
Bow Anna Soybel ‘11