Shelton, CT—The Ephs made the trip to the Housatonic River in Shelton, CT for their first race of the fall season. The Head of the Housatonic brought teams from both IRA and non-IRA divisions to race on the 5.2km course. Men's rowing is not an NCAA sport so teams are often divided into IRA and non-IRA divisions, paralleling the Division I and Division III distinctions.
The Ephs entered their first varsity boat into the IRA division to measure themselves against the Yale light and heavyweight boats, the Colombia lights, and the Brown heavies. The first boat came in 5th with a time of 14:13.1 that put them behind the Yale lights 1V, two Yale heavies and Brown. The Ephs lost out to the 4th place Yale boat by a mere 0.2 seconds. "We had trouble finding a really solid rhythm," commented co-captain Erick Quay, "but we still managed to put a lot of speed out on the water and held our own against the competition."
The Ephs entered their second and third varsity boats into the non-IRA division. Both boats fulfilled expectations placing second and fourth in times of 14:52.4 and 15:20.2 against other Div. III first varsity boat. "I was stoked to race in my first collegiate event," notes freshman 6-seat Jacob Ruttenberg. "All the guys really put it out on the water, and we started season off on a solid note."
The solid performance of the third varsity put them at 28s behind the 2V and 67s behind the 1V. "I was excited about the 3V's race today and it is nice to see such depth on our team," notes head coach Peter Wells. "Our priority now is on putting out the fastest boats we can for the Charles."
The Ephs chose to enter four 4's boats to get extra time and experience on the water, with two entered in the IRA and two in the non-IRA divisions. The best performing four for the Ephs was a heavyweight boat with Andrew Rondeau, Logan Jester, Michael Luciani and Alex Ellison. Boats were relatively even and placed in division in no particular order, the aforementioned boat competing in the non-IRA event. The Williams fours times came in at 16:38.8, 16:49.1, 16:58.2, and 17:04.4. Though mixed, these fours placed well in their events, again a testament to the team's depth.
The novice boat, primarily composed of walk-on freshmen that have only been rowing for three weeks, posted a quick time of 15:59.5 in 2nd place behind the dominant Brown 1F composed of the nations top recruits. The novices held of the Brown 2F and Yale freshmen in their impressive performance. A great freshman group is important for the team as most of these athletes will go on to make up a large portion of the varsity squad next year.
The Ephs have quicker turn around than usual for the Head of the Charles next weekend. The crew will hit the water this week to work off every second they can before the big race next Sunday afternoon.