WEST WINDSOR, NJ – The Williams College women's V1 boat made a statement today out racing top-seeded Bates to the finish line to earn the title of The Fastest Crew in DIII, but Bates won the NCAA team title with the combined scores of its V1 and V2 boats, edging the Ephs by one point: 39-38
In fifteen appearances in the NCAA Championships the Ephs have never finished lower than fifth. Williams has now finished in the top three 13 times. The Ephs have won nine titles, finished second twice, and third twice. Williams finished fifth in both 2005 and 2015.
Current Eph head coach Kate Maloney won NCAA titles in 2012 and 2013.
The V2 Grand Final was the first event for the Ephs on the day with racing being conducted under ideal conditions.
Top-seeded Bates and Wellesley jumped into the lead with Bates constructing an early 1.5-second lead over the Ephs and Wellesley had established a .5-second lead at 500 meters.
The Eph V2 would get no closer to Bates and Wellesley as both of the leading crews extended their lead over the Ephs and Ithaca College at every checkpoint remaining.
Williams was able to out sprint the Ithaca Bombers to the finish line in a time of 6:57.33 to the Bombers' 6:58.32 to claim third place and register 8 points in the scoring column.
Bates took first in a time off 6:48.33 and Wellesley came in second in 6:51.50.
The NCAA DIII Rowing Championship for Women is determined by the combined points total of the V2 and V1 boats. In the V2 race Bates earned 12 points, Wellesley 10, Williams 8 and Ithaca 6.
"Both boats did a fantastic job today," said head coach Kate Maloney. "Our V2 has shown amazing resiliency having had some key injuries and a lot of seat movement in the boat."
"Would I have liked to see our top V2 boat could have done today, absolutely, but this is the hand that we were dealt," added Maloney. "The V2 got nipped yesterday by Ithaca and then for them to hold on today and beat Ithaca, I mean, I just can't say enough good things about that boat."
In the V1 race the Ephs were in lane three next to Bates in lane four, while Ithaca was in lane 5. Wesleyan was in lane 1, Wellesley in lane 2 and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) was in lane six.
Right from the start the Eph V1 threw their boat into high gear and opened up a lead on both the defending champions from Wellesley and Bates taking the lead at 250 meters and not surrendering it for the entire race.
Bates twice tried to surge on the Eph boat and each time the Ephs answered with a slight increase in their lead. Near the 1250-meter mark Bates inched to within two seats of the Ephs, but the Ephs calmly and proficiently answered that call to rally by slowly manufacturing a comfortable 3+-seat lead just past the 1500-meter marker.
Sensing a final surge from Bates the Eph crew reached down and found another gear with just over 300 meters left and ended up with a winning margin of five seats and a time of 6:35.38. Bates was second by 1.2 of a second over Wellesley in third.
"From the start in the fall the V1 has been on a mission to set the standard and be as fast as they can and then make adjustments as we went along," Maloney stated. "Boy did they deliver today with that race!. That boat followed the plan perfectly. They got off to a good start and held that lead throughout the race. I'm glad we were able to send the two V1 seniors off with a national title in their final race."
Despite fielding the fast crew in DIII in their V1 the Ephs finished second by one point to Bates in the team scoring. The Bobcats earned 12 points with the win in the V2 race and combined with 27 points for second in the V1 race totaled 39 points. The Ephs accrued 30 points with the V1 win and 8 points from the third pace finish in the V2 race.
"The group of 22-23 rowers that was here to compete is the result of the entire 38-member team we have that pushed each other throughout the season to be at our best, so I want to thank those where were not here," Maloney said. "And of course I want to thank our assistant coaches, our support staff, our trainers, and our parents for a great year. I'm just so proud of the 2016-17 Williams program."
C: Louisa Abel
8: Clara Beery
7: Bertie Miller
6: Eileen Russell
5: Gabby Markel
4: Rebecca Smith
3: Maddy Boutet
2: Emory Strawn
1: Emily Burch
C: Ava Palmo
8: Katie Swoap
7: Caroline Kessler
6: Diana Matthiessen
5: Julia Mini
4: Annie Rush
3: Stephanie Brown
2: Josie Maynard
1: Molly Burroughs