WORCESTER, MASS - The Eph men left campus after classes on Thursday for the last race of their season. The Eastern College Athletic Conference was held this Friday with sunny weather and strong winds. The Eph men were facing off against many of the same competitors as last week at the New Englands, with some added faces from New York area crews. The men again entered the 1V, 2V, 1F, and 3V races with the Williams 2F racing as the third varsity boat.
The qualifying heats were held Friday morning. There were 3 qualifying heats for the first varsity final, by far the most competitive event. Only the top two boats from each varsity final qualified for the grand final. The 1F and 2V races both had two qualifying heats and the 3V race was final only. All of the Eph boats preformed very strongly in the morning, winning all of their heats and qualifying for their respective grand finals.
The first race of the afternoon was the 3V race. The Eph freshmen rowed a fantastic race, having made incredible improvement over the last three weeks. Today they managed to avoid the equipment failure that plagued them last week, finishing third to WPI and Wesleyan. Wesleyan beat the Ephs by 3 and a half seconds. The Williams freshmen were challenged by the Trinity boat, beating them to third by just 3 tenths of a second.
The second grand final of the day was the 1F. The Williams Freshmen faced strong competition in the Trinity. They traded the lead back and forth with Trinity throughout their race, ending the race in second place by 8 tenths of a second. BC took third, behind the Ephs by 9 seconds.
The third grand final of the race was the mens 2V. The Ephs were in a close race, and led the field with their strong start. They were passed by Trinity, Bucknell, and UNH in the body of the race. The Ephs attempted to take back third place with their sprint, but ended behind UNH, in fourth place by 2 tenths of a second, with a time of 6:07.
The race of the day way the men's first varsity grand final. The Williams boat was rowed by (from stern to bow) Erick Quay 2014, Faust Petkovich 2012, Alex Treco 2012, Theo Patsalos-Fox 2012, John Gorman 2013, Wes Gail 2012, Noah Schoenholtz 2012, Matt Crimp 2012, and Michelle McRae 2012 as coxswain. This was the last race of the collegiate career of the seven seniors in the boat. The 1V was facing some of the same crews they had beaten last week at New England, and were eager to finish their incredible season on a high note.
The varsity boat had a powerful start and then settled into a strong base rate. They moved half a boat length up on the field with a decisive move at the two-minute mark, and broke contact with the second place boat at the thousand meter mark. In the Relentless 2 the Ephs found the fastest base rate in the race. "You could really feel the positive energy in the boat today," said Matt Crimp '12.
Bates attempted to make a move at the end of the race, but was unable to make a dent on the Williams lead. The varsity boat finished with the winning time of 5:56, two seconds ahead of Bates and five seconds ahead of Trinity. It was "an amazing effort all around," said Theo Patsalos-Fox 2012.
The Williams men lost the overall points trophy to Trinity by one point, but Williams won the combined men's and women's points trophy with the help of a great performance by the Eph women.
The regatta today marked the end of another fantastic season for the Ephs, as well as the end of collegiate rowing for the class of 2012. The team has been incredibly lucky to have the leadership of captains Alex Treco and Noah Schoenholtz, as well as the positive energy, work ethic, and friendship of the seniors: Faust Petkovich Theo Patsalos-Fox, Wes Gail, Matt Crimp, and Michelle McRae.