Worcester, MA – The Ephs made their first trip this year to Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester for the annual Donahue Cup against WPI & MIT. It was a gorgeous day for racing and the Ephs continued to build on progress made in past races.
To open the day, the Ephs 2V & 3V raced in a joint race against the MIT & WPI 2V crews and the WPI 3V. In essence, separate 2V and 3V races were held simultaneously on the course. The Ephs 2V had a clean start and came off their high strokes even with WPI and just off MIT.
The Ephs came off their high strokes a bit earlier than the other crews, and fell back some, while their opponents were still rowing high. The Ephs rolled through the 500 half a length back of WPI and a length behind MIT. Through the second 500 the Ephs rowed cleanly and held WPI and MIT to the margins they had taken off the start. Coming through the 1000 the Ephs tried to make their move up on WPI, but WPI had the same thing in mind. The Ephs were unable to move up on WPI and through the third 500 they fell back to a length back. Through the final stretch the Ephs maintained their margin and finished 4 seconds behind WPI. The final times were MIT 6:11, WPI 6:21, Williams 6:25. Alexander Paolozzi '21 felt that the Ephs had a "really solid first half, poorly executed middle move, then they [WPI] started to move away in the second half. We need to work on rowing from behind because we were down off the start and had the chance to make a move but didn't capitalize."
The 3V fared better in their race against the WPI 3V. Although the Ephs fell behind off the start and were as much as half a length back, they were able to walk back on WPI, taking lead around 750 meters in. From there the Ephs rowed with precision and poise, continuing to walk away from their opponents. Williams finished half a length up on WPI. The final times were Williams 6:35, WPI 6:37. 3V Coxswain Piper Higgins '21 was proud of how her boat handled rowing from behind and their execution of their race plan: "The race was really good. We were down off the start and then we beat them right around half way which was our race plan. We executed our race plan really well, we stayed relaxed while we were down."
Next up, the 1V raced for the Donohue trophy against WPI and MIT. The Ephs fell behind off the start and came past Donohue boat house at 500 meters in staggered order. MIT led, followed half a length back by WPI and then Williams another half a length back. The Ephs stayed tough from behind, and launched a strong move through the half way mark to draw nearly even with WPI. Coming into the final sprint, MIT was a length up but second place was still up in the air between WPI & Williams. The Ephs trailed slightly but launched a strong sprint to make up ground. Unfortunately, the Ephs ran out of race course and fell to MIT by less than a second. The final times were MIT 6:01, WPI 6:07, Williams 6:08. Bow seat Jack Ellrodt '20 felt that "our boat stayed internal and that Devin did an excellent job keeping the boat in rhythm."
The Ephs also raced two 4's, with Conn College joining the action as well. In the Varsity 4+ event, members of the Ephs 2V and 3V got off the water from their first races to immediately head back out in the 4's. Despite their fatigue, the Ephs still rowed admirably. They finished fourth in a time of 7:43. MIT won the race in 7:16. In the 2V4+ event, the Ephs 4V4+, made up novices, squared up against 2 4's from Con College and one from WPI. The Ephs novices fought hard against their more experienced opponents from Conn College, and finished second out of four in a time of 7:36. Conn College's A boat won the event in 7:30.
The Ephs will be back in action next Saturday on their home course for Little Three Championships. Not only is this the Ephs only home race of the year, it is also the first time in many years that Amherst will be joining the Ephs and Wesleyan to make it a true Little Three day of racing.