PITTSFIELD, MA — Three eights of Eph men bused over to their home course at Lake Onota in Pittsfield, MA this morning, ready to defend the purple valley in a race against Wesleyan University crew, hailing from Middletown, CT. The Little Three race has traditionally included Wesleyan, Williams, and Amherst, but Amherst no longer attends the regatta. The first varsity started the racing off for the men, with the second varsity eight following, and the third varsity wrapping up the day.
The 1v men sat at the start line at the far side of Onota Lake, and as the officiator called for the race to start, took well-connected strokes to get the boat moving to race speed. Off the line the 1v was down a seat or two, but by 500 meters the 1v was even with Wesleyan and taking seats. Shortly after the 1000 meter mark, the crew took a move to extend their four-seat lead on Wesleyan, and to prepare for the sprint. By the time coxswain Devin Flynn called the men on to sprint, they had a little more than half a length up on the Cardinals, and as they came through the line, they had extended their lead to about 6 seats, about 2 seconds ahead of Wesleyan. The win gave the Ephs their ninth consecutive Little Three title. "It was a hard fought race against a good crew" coach Regan comments. "The character of our crew is unimpeachable. We need to continue to develop our start speed and our fast rhythm."
Off the start, the Williams second varsity was holding even with the Wesleyan 2v, and the two crews stuck to each other stroke for stroke until about the 750 meter mark. At 1000 meters in, the Wesleyan 2v had pushed up to six or seven seats up on the Williams 2v, and by the 15000 meter mark had pushed up to about a length. The sprint came up quickly, and coxswain Jamie Sullivan called his athletes on for the last push of the race, coming through the line a little more than a length behind the Cardinals — about 6 seconds. "It was a good fight from this young crew the whole way," Regan affirms, "Wesleyan has a good crew and now we have more info as to where we stand within our league."
By the time the third varsity crews were ready to start, the mild head wind had increased to about 13 miles per hour, stirring up the water a bit more from when the first varsity crews had raced. Recovering from a rocky start, "The crew found its rhythm in the 2nd 500, taking some of its most solid strokes yet, but by then [Wesleyan's] lead was too great" comments 3v coxswain Chrissy Pak. "We did make up some ground in the third 500 due to our fitness," she said, but it wasn't quite enough to come back. The Wesleyan 3v finished with open water on the Williams third eight.
Next weekend the Williams men will race George Washington, Georgetown, and Rutgers at Carnegie Lake in Princeton, NJ.