Ephs push through tough conditions at Head of Housatonic

Ephs push through tough conditions at Head of Housatonic

SHELTON, CT -- Warm sun and a cool breeze awaited the Williams men's crew team in Connecticut. After five weeks of training on Lake Onota in Pittsfield, MA, the entire team was ready for the season to begin.

Twenty six rowers, split into four different boats, competed in the Head of the Housatonic regatta against many other collegiate rowing programs, including Yale, Brown, Wesleyan, and The Coast Guard Academy.

Williams rowed in the afternoon, fighting a stiff headwind that threatened to sour the day's experience. With nothing but heightened resolve in the face of such adverse conditions, Williams blew through the course with great success. The first varsity boat, racing the 4300 meters in 15:21, came in fifth against the varsity crews of Division I powerhouse Yale University, which rowed its home course quickly as usual.

The Williams second varsity boat finished second in the non-IRA collegiate eight category, beaten only by the first varsity boat of Wesleyan. Although slightly put off by the intensely windy conditions, both boats got off the water feeling confident about their performance and excited about the possibilities of the rest of the season.

Men's team co-captain Joey Kiernan echoed the general sentiment of the team, stressing the groups intent to never relinquish their season goals: "Regardless of the less-than-desirable weather today, we still have our eyes fixed on the Charles. And there is no reason why we can't improve between now and then." Kiernan refers to the Head of the Charles Regatta, one of the largest and most prestigious regattas in the US today, set to be held in less than two weeks on the Charles River in Boston. As head coach Peter Wells '79 said of this year's fall season, "We will keep pushing - not pulling - our way till the end of the race, as well as to the end of the season."

The men's novice eight, which featured some athletes only four weeks into their rowing career, raced to great success today. The Ephs finished second only to the Division I Brown novice eight, leaving many other crews in their wake.

The third varsity eight, competing against many other programs' second and first varsity boats, made their way down the course in the violent wind with nothing less than determination. Although the boat had never practiced it's full line-up before the race, it managed to finish the race as a better crew.

Michael Abrams '11 coxed the first varsity boat, with Joey Keirnan '11 at stroke seat, followed by Nathaniel Lim '11 at seven seat, Erick Quay '14 at six, Theo Patsalos-Fox '12 at five, Ken Sluis '11 at four, Dan Kenefick '11 at three, Dan Costanza'11 at two, and Jared Norse '11 sitting bow.

Coxing the second varsity boat was Michelle McRae '12, with John Gorman '13 at stroke seat, Faust Petkovich '12 at seven, Leland Brewster '11 at six, Wescott Gail '12 at five, Zachary Tarlow '13 at four, Nathan Barker '13 at three, Julian Fernandez '13 at two, and Matt Crimp '12 at bow.