Worcester, MA--The Ephs finished the season strong with 2nd place finishes in the first and second varisty boats and a 7th place finish by the third varisty boat.
Although Williams was edged by Michigan in the men's grand final by almost four seconds, the Ephs still clinched the NESCAC title as being the top school from the conference. Williams posted a time of 5:52.977, less than two seconds ahead of third place Hobart and just over two seconds faster than the next NESCAC school Trinity (5:55.290). Bates, who recorded the second fastest time in the heats, also rowed in the grand final, finishing sixth in a time of 6:01.752.
With their performance, Williams captured their fifth NESCAC crown in a row and sixth all-time.
The weather was variable thorughout the day with rain early, changing to a searing heat, then to a highly variable and strong wind in the afternoon. The ECAC Nationional Invitational Regatta brought teams from New Englands, plus strong Michigan, Marist, Hobat, Ithaca, and Bucknell teams.
The third varsity boat fought hard in the heats, but narrowly missed qualifying for the grand final with a fourth place finish behind Bates by 1 second. Never discouraged, the Ephs went out in the afternoon and outpaced the field to take 1st in the petite final and 7th overall.
The second varisty boat took care of business for the second week in a row in the heats taking 1st by open water to advance to the grand final. In the final the Ephs gave a commanding performace, increasing their margin over Trinity from a week before and beating a Bucknell crew, which they lost to by 0.5s earlier in the season, by 3.5s. Ultimately they fell to a very fast Michigan crew by 5.5 seconds to take second place.
The first varisty boat, which placed 2nd to Trinity the week before by 0.8s, controlled their heat to beat Trinity by 2 seconds. Advancing to the grand final, the Ephs found themselves lined up against a very competitive field of Michigan, Trinity, Marist, Bates, and Hobart. The boat fought tough conditions and tough competition to place second in a blazing time of 5:52.9. Most impressive about this result is that the Ephs beat both Trinity and Hobart by 2-3 seconds. Reversing the New Englands result against Trinity and reversing a 6.5 second deficit to Hobart early in the season.
Michigan won across the field at ECACs, but the Ephs were a close second. This season saw the growth of a very young team with only one active senior and a 1V boat with 2 freshmen and 4 sophomores. The team looks forward to training hard in the off season to come back even faster next year with a race tested crew.