GOLD RIVER, CA -- For the fifth consecutive year and sixth time in program history, the Williams women’s crew has captured the NCAA Division III Rowing Championship, taking both the team title and the varsity eight title for the second consecutive year.
Both the Ephs' 1V and 2V boats qualified for Saturday's Grand Final on Lake Natoma and neither disappointed in the final, with the 1V winning the race with a time of 6:43.81 and the 2V placing third with a time of 6:49.02.
It was the second year in a row that Williams put both boats in the Grand Final, and only the third time it's been done in Div. III history.
"I'm in seventh heaven," Ephs' head coach Justin Moore said. "These two boats represented the college in a way that far exceeded my expectations. I'm just flabbergasted by these women and I could not be prouder of them. I'm just so happy for the way they embraced and enjoyed the experience."
Williams 1V boat, the line up of which consisted of Becca Licht, coxswain; Julia Haltermann, stroke; Dorothy MacAusland, 7th seat; Kate Shaper, 6th seat; Lindsay Olsen, 5th seat; Dana Golden, 4th seat; Madeline Berky, 3rd seat; Sara Ginsburg, 2nd seat and Emma Pelegri-O'Day, bow seat, wasted no time taking the lead in Saturday's Grand Final, building a near two-second lead over second-place Bates after the first 500 meters.
Bates, Ithaca and the Ephs' 2V boat were all bunched together at 500m, with the Ephs just .98 out of second place. While the Williams IV was pulling away after 1,000 meters, leading by 3.61 seconds, the Ephs' 2V had passed Ithaca and moved into third place, trailing Bates by a bout a second and a half.
The 2V boat, the line up of which included kept gunning for the Bobcats even as Trinity passed Ithaca and began to surge at the 1,500-meter mark. Thw 2V boat's line up featured Elizabeth Zhu, coxswain; Laura Caccamo, stroke; Sydney Tooze, 7th seat; Sara Wallace, 6th seat; Abbie Deal, 5th seat; Kelsey Conklin, 4th seat; Jane McClellan, 3rd seat; Adrienne Darrow, 2nd Seat; Kaitlin Konkel, bow seat.
While the Williams 1V cruised over the final 500 to claim victory in the race, the 2V put together the fastest split time of all six boats (1:40.62) to not only hold off Trinity and earn a bronze medal, but push Bates. The Ephs' 2V finished just 3.6 tenths of a second behind Bates in the race for second.
"Peter Wells (Williams' men's crew coach) actually came down to the lake during the exam period and helped both boats with the final 500 meters," Moore said. "He spent a little more time with the 2V boat and it paid off. I thought the finish was a credit to all the crews, but our women really came up and met the challenge."
Of the nine Division III national titles that have been contested since 2002, Williams has claimed six (2002, 2006-2010).