Worcester, MA - The Ephs had a strong showing at ECAC's this past weekend, with one second place finish, two third place finishes and one fourth place. Although the women just barely fell short of bringing home the women's team award, the team captured the overall men/women's points trophy. The team was excited to best last year's champions Trinity.
The day opened up with heats for all four categories that the Williams crews were entered in. The team was excited to place three varsity boats and Novice 8 into their respective Grand Finals.
With a new lineup, the 3V was first to hit the water. Seeded third from last weekend, they finished second in their first heat to Trinity with significant open water over third place Wesleyan. Going into the Grand Final, Williams was ready to fight for a medal. Off the start, the 3V was down on both Bates and Trinity. Going through the thousand meter mark, the Ephs opened up their lead on Wesleyan while fighting for silver with Trinity. Following a strong middle move, Trinity walked through Williams, solidifying their second place finish. Williams fought all the way down the course but ultimately came in third with a time of 7:18.28.
"Our boat had a lot of fun racing today. This was a great end to the season because a lot of the teams out there were ones we had raced and lost to before. We got a chance to go out and prove all the work we've put in and how much we've improved," remarked freshman bow seat of the 3V Elizabeth Curtis. "That means getting closer to boats that have been faster than us, getting farther ahead from boats we've previously beat, and beating some boats that had come before us in previous races. Overall, I think we're all really proud of ourselves and I'm so grateful for the women in my boat."
Next to hit the water was the Novice 8. Following last weekend's second place finish at New Englands, there were minor tweaks to the lineup. In their heat, the freshmen came in third behind Mt. Holyoke and Wesleyan. They came into the Grand Final fighting for a medal, finishing in a strong third place behind Trinity and Mt. Holyoke. The Novice 8 posted a time of 7:31.17.
"We finally took everything that we worked hours upon hours at the lake and at the gym and poured it into our last, and undoubtedly best race of the season," commented freshman coxswain Selena Castro. "When you are as strong and dedicated as our team, you realize that the race is entirely mental, and we were finally able to master both the mental and physical aspects of our race. I'm so proud of everything that this crew and especially my novice boat has accomplished!"
After a close fourth place finish to Wesleyan last weekend, the 2V hit the water with something to prove. Quick off the start, the 2V had a conservative heat, finishing second to Trinity. They were prepared for a fight for third in the Grand Final, but were unfortunately unable to hold their middle move on Wesleyan. The 2V finished with a time of 7:20.73, two seconds out of a medal.
"It has been a long journey for the 2V this year and I was proud of the effort we exhibited on the water today," commented senior three seat Iva Nikolau. "We were excited to make it into the grand finals and face teams that we have seen before. Looking ahead, we hope that we will have another chance to fight for a medal at NCAAs."
Closing out a great day of racing, the 1V race was a true example of strength and determination. Seeded first after the morning's heats, the Ephs were prepared for a challenging final. Neck and neck with Bates and Trinity for most of the race, the 1V lost ground to Bates in the final 250 meters. The Ephs fought to the last stroke, taking the silver with a time of 6:54.99 behind Bates' first place 6:51.36.
"We executed both a heat and a final that we were proud of," stated senior 1v coxswain Anna Hopkins. "If we get the opportunity to race at NCAAs, we are even hungrier because in this boat we keep learning every day."
"I'm really proud of what the team has accomplished this season in all of our boats, and today was a great chance to come together as a program and demonstrate the hard work we've put in all year," exclaimed co-captain Sarah Peters.
With the 1V's second place finish, the Ephs will be anxiously awaiting the results of the NCAA Division III Women's Rowing Selection Show, broadcast Monday, May 12 at 7:00 PM. Watch live by CLICKING HERE.