Pittsfield, MA -- The Williams men took to their home course of Onota Lake in Pittsfield Saturday to line up against Wesleyan and Amherst in the annual Little Three Championships. This is the first time in many years that Amherst has returned to the regatta. The conditions were blustery with a moderate cross wind, but relatively tame compared to practice conditions on Onota for the past several days for Williams.
The 1V opened up the action for the day, looking to bring the Saratoga Oar trophy back to the Purple Valley. The Ephmen had a solid start, keeping even with Wesleyan, and pulling away from Amherst, through the high strokes and first 500 meters. Through the middle 1000 of the race Williams made their move on the Cardinals and began steadily pulling away. Coming into the final 500 meters, the Ephs had a length lead which they maintained to finish up on Wesleyan by three seconds. The final times were Williams 6:16, Wesleyan 6:19, Amherst 6:48. Captain Karl Bocker felt that the key to the Williams win was that "we had really solid moves on our opponents."
In the 2V, Williams had some bobbles off the start but were able to come through the 500 meter mark dead even with Wesleyan and ahead of Amherst. The Ephs showed signs of walking up on their opponents during their 500 meter move, but failed to capitalize. Through the second 500 Williams suffered some off strokes and lost ground to the Cardinals, coming through the middle of the race several seats down. For the second half the Ephs found a solid rhythm and were more consistent than the first half, but they were never able to make a decisive move to pull back over Wesleyan. The final times were Wesleyan 6:29, Williams 6:32, Amherst 7:08.
In the 3V, Williams had their best start of the year. Once again the Ephs and Cardinals pulled away from Amherst, and traded leads in a tightly contested race through the first 1000 meters. In the third 500 things began to fall apart for Williams, as they were unable to execute their decisive move. The Ephs fell behind and lost to Wesleyan by a margin of 3 seconds. The final times were Wesleyan 6:51, Williams 6:54, Amherst 7:40.
According to coxswain Piper Higgins: "We had a great start and got the rate as high as we've ever had it. We were trading the lead all the way down the course, and couldn't execute the thrid 500. Welseyan had a great piece, so kudos to them."
The day's action concluded with the frosh 4+ lining up against the women's 4V. In what turned into a tightly contested race, the Ephs frosh were able to take a respectable lead into the final 500 meters where conditions noticeably worsened. In their smaller boat, the Ephmen struggled to handle the stiff cross wind. Nevertheless, the Ephmen lead was insurmountable as they crossed the finish several seconds ahead of their counterparts on the women's team. The final times were M4V4+ 7:46, W4V 7:50.
The Ephs will be back in action next weekend when they take on Bates, Holy Cross, Saint Joe's, and Tufts on Lake Quinsigamond.