WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The William's crew team has just returned from spring training trip. The team was down south again this spring break, taking advantage of the warmer weather in South Carolina. The team rowed on the Inter Coastal Waterway, or the ICW as the team refers to it.
The Eph men enjoy the ability to row on continuously without turning for as long as they want as the ICW stretches for 3,000 miles along the East Coast. This year the weather was perfect for rowing, almost entirely warm and sunny. The Ephs have been making the trip down to Myrtle Beach to the Briarcliff RV Resort for spring training since 1994.
William's crew's home course, Onota Lake in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is not rowable during the winter months due to ice and lowered water levels. The spring trip is the first time that the crew gets on the water since the end of the fall season. The trip is made possible through many fundraising efforts over the course of the winter and fall. These include team wide work weekends, the team's annual Ergathon, and donations from friends, family members, alumni, and local business sponsors.
In Myrtle Beach the team generally rows twice a day, waking up early each morning for practice. Often the Ephs will get in a pre-practice warm up run and a half an hour of yoga before the sun has even risen. "I nap everyday," says Peter Ellis 2012. "When you work as hard as we do you can't afford to miss sleep". The team is also lucky to be able to eat many meals with the residents of the Briarcliff RV Resort. The team favorite is breakfast where the Ephs love to eat huge amounts of scrambled eggs and grits each morning.
The Ephs trained all through the winter to be fit for the spring season. "The team has put in a lot of work this winter," says team captain Noah Schoenholtz 2012, "we are seeing that training pay off on the water now". The team is also taking the opportunity to use spring training to really work on the finer points of their rowing technique.
The Ephs are a young crew the year, with a large sophomore and an even larger freshmen class. The team is racing two varsity boats and two freshmen boats this spring. The team is beginning to test themselves against other crews on the drive back from South Carolina. They spent an enjoyable afternoon doing practice pieces with the University of Virginia crew on Thursday.
As they continued the drive back to Williamstown the team stopped in Philadelphia to face off against Marietta, Drexel, Vesper Boat Club, and St. Joe's in different races on Saturday. The Eph crew was able to feel out their relative strengths and weaknesses against these crews and now know where to focus their practice time back on campus.
The first varsity, first freshmen, and second freshmen boats all took first place on Saturday. The Ephs' second varsity boat came in second St. Joe University and Drexel. "We were not rowing perfectly today, but the energy was there," says captain Alex Treco 2012, "we are in a good place to build on that".
The Ephs will see their first regular conference race on April 7th in Saratoga Springs NY. They will be lining up against Hobart William Smith College.