Williamstown, MA—The Williams men's crew returned to Onota Lake this fall with lofty expectations for themselves and the season ahead. The Ephs return the majority of their rowers from last year's highly successful 1V & 2V crews. Joining these experienced rowers is an energetic group of walk ons and recruits.
The Ephs are also rejoined this season by long time head coach Peter Wells '79, who is returning from a year long sabbatical. Wells noted how his sabbatical helped him become a better coach, saying that he used his time off to "gain perspective while away studying other rowing programs, institutions, as well as personal education for myself in various areas." This will be Wells 34th season guiding the Williams men's crew. Joining Wells on the coaching staff this year is new novice coach Nate Clark. Coach Clark joins Williams after a stint coaching the novices at UC Santa Barbara.
Coach Wells has high hopes for the team this year, based on the quality of his returning rowers, as well as his previous experiences returning from sabbatical: "On two of the past three times away, we as a program have been able to do just this and some of the best years and combinations of years for the program have come as a result of departure and then reacquaintance. This process is not easy for anyone -- yet this year we have the elements to do some very good things in terms of our rowing and team building from all which has transpired this past year and now within these two months leading up to the final races of our fall."
The Eph rowers spent much of their summer doing intense workouts both on the ergometer and through cross training in order to maximize their fitness for the fall racing season. The Ephs' hard work over the summer months was immediately apparent to coach Wells who noticed that, "Fitness has reached a level this season never seen in any prior year. This element taken on seriously by those on the team from first years to seniors permits us to complete workouts on and off the lake with great consistency." The Ephs tremendous level of fitness this season should be a great asset in the fall racing season and going forward into the spring.
After a long summer and fall of training to hone their fitness and technique on the water, the Ephs are excited to attack their fall racing schedule. Fall racing consists of longer head races of three miles in length where boats start at staggered intervals roughly every fifteen seconds, and race for time.
The Ephs open the season with the famous Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston October 22nd & 23rd. The Head of the Charles is the world's largest regatta and an important milestone for the Ephs. Traditionally, the Ephs have entered two boats in the collegiate eights race on Sunday. This year the Ephs have decided to change course and enter one boat in the collegiate eights race on Sunday, and a second boat in the club eights race on Saturday. This change was made to give each boat their own personal race to compete in and represent Williams men's crew, rather than leaving the 2V boat to live in the 1V boat's shadow in the collegiate eights race.
The next weekend the novice crew will make their debut on Saturday, October 29th at the Head of the Fish in Saratoga Springs, New York. Under the guidance of new coach Nate Clark, the novices hope to row well in the first major test of their rowing ability.
That same weekend both varsity boats will travel to Princeton, New Jersey to wrap up their fall season with the Princeton Chase on Sunday October 30th. At the Chase, the Ephs will face stiff competition from the best D1 rowing programs in the country including Princeton, BU, and California.
This year the Ephs are led by senior captains Michael Polson, Graham Buchan, & Andrew Rondeau. They are joined by seniors Aaron Finder, Alex Ruberto, Charlie Shiels, Elijah Fromm, Erik Kessler, and Noah Krawitz.
Confident in their fitness base, and led by a large core of veterans, the Ephs plan to row two strong and competitive boats this fall racing season.