Worcester, MA -- The Ephs returned to Lake Quinsigamond for their final regular season race of the year against Tufts, Bates, Holy Cross, and Saint Joes. A stiff headwind 12 mph battered the course and challenged crews throughout the morning.
First up, the 4V4+ raced against a different batch of crews than the eights. They lined up against Trinity, WPI, and Bates. The Williams novices rowed the first part of the race well, and came through the 750 meter mark just about even with Trinity but off the race leaders. Failing to handle the stiff headwind, the boat lost rhythm and composure next 750 meters. In the final 500 meters they managed to pull things get back together as they regained their composure and higher rating for the final sprint, but they were too far back to catch Trinity. The final times were Bates 7:33, WPI 7:39, Trinity 7:46, and Williams 8:05. According to stroke seat Osamah Qatanani '21, "I thought everyone did really well and we will get them next time."
Next up, the 3V got off the line slow but found their groove several hundred meters in. The Ephs fell behind the leaders and were a length back on Tufts, but held that gap. Through the race they were unable to make a move back on Tufts, and finished the race with the same margin behind Tufts from the end of the starting sequence. The final times were St Joes 6:38, Holy Cross 6:51, Tufts 3V 6:53, Tufts 1N 6:54, Williams 7:03. Steven Kreuch '20 feels that the Ephs have made good progress over the past week but were unable to show it today: "the 3V has been making remarkable improvements every day and although we weren't thrilled with how the race went today we are really excited to hone it in for championship season."
In the 2V race, Williams had a strong starting sequence and came through 750 meters just a seat or two off the leaders and ahead of Holy Cross by half a length. There, a large wind gust knocked the Ephs out of their rhythm and they were never able to recover. The other crews pulled ahead of the Ephmen as they struggled to find the rhythm and composure they had earlier in the headwind. The final times were Bates 6:31, St Joes 6:33, Tufts 6:42, Holy Cross 6:49, Williams 7:00. Michael Nettesheim '20 voiced his crew's frustration with their race day performance after a strong week of practice: "Frustrating race given our performance this week but something to grow off of."
In the 1V race, Williams had a strong high stroke sequence but bobbled their shift and fell a bit behind. Through the race the Ephs sat behind Tufts, not gaining or losing seats on their opponents. When the sprint came, Williams had the reserves to pick up the speed and walk through the Jumbos. The final times were St Joes 6:20, Bates 6:27, Holy Cross 6:33, Williams 6:36, Tufts 6:44. Sam Ellison '18 shared the disappointment of other boats about failing to capitalize after a strong week of practice: "We struggled to find groove we established in week leading up to this race but this will fuel the fire leading into next week."
Next Saturday the Ephs will be back on Quinsigamond for their first race of championship season, the New England Rowing Championships.