SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – While the first varsity men prepared to race in Princeton, NJ, the Williams men's second varsity and freshmen crews had a strong showing at the Head of the Fish Regatta in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Racing in the collegiate varsity eight category, the Williams 2v placed 6th, less than half a second ahead of the Tufts University 1v, and only four seconds behind the Boston College and Rochester Institute of Technology 1v's, placing 4th and 5th, respectively. "It was great" says senior Alex Ellison, "we were right where a solid 2v should be. It was our best row of the season." Solid might be an understatement for the 2v's performance – racing against other programs' 1v's is no small order. The 2v demonstrated their grit, determination, and their willingness to dig deep into the well.
In the men's collegiate novice four event, the novice 'A' boat, one of two Williams crews entered in this particular event, placed 5th behind 1st place Colgate University and 2nd place Coast Guard. The 'A' boat fought hard against the Uni College four, finishing the race less than half a second behind the crew. The 'A' crew was composed of both experienced recruits and athletes new to the sport. The second of the two Williams crews entered in this race, the novice 'B' boat, placed 16th, four seconds behind the Royal Military College of Canada's 'B' boat and, racing to the best of their ability to finish seven seconds ahead of Marianopolis College's 'A' four.
The Williams 2v men raced a second time, splitting up into an 'A' and a 'B' four in the men's collegiate four event, placing 7th and 24th. The first boat finished only a second behind Columbia University's A boat, and three and a half seconds ahead of Columbia's 'B' boat. The second Williams four entered in the event finished behind Tufts University.
The Williams freshmen crew placed 16th behind Tufts University and ahead of Boston College, with Marist College taking first. Many of the athletes in the boat consist of walk-ons coached by Dave Smaus. Coach Dave Smaus commented on the day of racing: "the freshmen men had their first racing experience today. They had fun and are all excited to go onto the spring." Smaus continues: "the team's ability to step up to the task at hand and get themselves ready to go is incredible. I am always impressed with the athletes' ability to be self-lead and complete the task at hand. That was shown today."
For these athletes, the Head of the Fish was the last race of the fall season. The next thing for the team is to look forward to the spring racing season where they will again be challenged to see who is more willing to commit and dip deep into the well.