WORCESTER, MA--The Eph men's crew opened their season today with a strong showing at Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester for the annual Donahue Cup. The Ephs squared off against MIT, WPI, University of Rochester, and Connecticut College in the annual competition.
A moderate 10 mph headwind factored into the races.
The first Eph boat to race was the Frosh Eight, which competed in the 3V race against two boats from WPI. This race was especially memorable for the Frosh Eight as it marked their first 2000 meter sprint race together, and first sprint race ever for most of them. Starts were a heavy emphasis in practice during the past week for the frosh, and the Ephs got off the line well. During the first 800 meters the Ephs gradually fell behind the WPI 'A' boat while pulling well ahead of the WPI 'B' boat. With a move at 800 meters the Ephs drew WPI even again before falling back during the sprint, to finish about a length behind. The final times were WPI 'A' in 6:52, Williams in 6:58, and WPI 'B' in 7:36.
The next race of the day was the Men's 2V, coxed by Jamie Sullivan '18. The crew got off the line fast, and kept contact through the starting section of the race. As the race dragged on, WPI began to pull ahead through the base of the race, followed shortly by MIT then the Ephs. The race finished with WPI in front with a time of 6:54, followed by MIT with a time of 6:59, then Williams with 7:05, followed up by Rochester in 7:27. Of the race, Sullivan said 'This week's big focus was on getting off the line and our boat definitely had one of our best starts ever. Though the result isn't quite what we had hoped for, I'm excited for the potential of this crew."
In the marquee race of the day, the Men's 1V lined up against MIT, WPI, and Rochester. Captain Andrew Rondeau '17 had this to say about the race: "The Ephs got off to a strong start, and held on for a tough first 750 meters. With all boats wrestling a stiff headwind, MIT and WPI slipped ahead in the second 1000 meters, and the Williams 1V struggled to gain back much needed meters for the remainder of the race." MIT crossed the finish line in 6:29 to win the Donahue Cup, followed by WPI in 6:33, Williams in 6:37, and Rochester in 6:59.
The final Eph boat to race was the Frosh Four, also competing in their first race. The frosh battled a tough headwind that had been building all morning, and put up a valiant fight against several more experienced varsity crews. The race was won by Conn College in 8:02, followed by WPI in 8:20, then Williams in 8:51.
The Ephs felt that they learned a lot in their first race of the season, and that they still have much untapped potential which they hope to unlock as they get more time racing and on the water as the season goes on. Next week the Ephs will line up against Wesleyan at Onota Lake competing for the Little 3 Championship in their only home race of the year.