Williamstown, MA — Williams men's crew is back from their annual trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and ready for another exciting and fast season of spring racing.
After a long winter of training on the erg and in the weight room, the rowers returned to the water to transfer their gains in fitness and strength to speed in the boat. The team rowed twice daily; focusing on racing in the morning and technique in the afternoon. Training in 4+ continued to be a focus as part of coach Mandel's effort to improve boat feel.
The Ephs are in their second year under the guidance of coaches Marc Mandel and Graham Marks. With a year of experience under their belts, team members feel that they are far more advanced than they were at this same point last season. Coxswain Piper Higgins '21 felt that the increased familiarity and experience of the coaches and rowers was apparent, and that the team was able to ramp up intensity on the water far quicker this spring break.
Cam Edgar '21 felt, "Spring break was exciting not only for us as individuals but also for the entire team. I think that the chemistry that we've built throughout the winter on the ergs has started to flourish in the boats through spring training and I'm excited to see how it continues to grow throughout the spring."
The team is led by senior captains Adam Zoen and Drew West, joined by fellow seniors Mark Hay, Nina Min, and Sam Armstrong. The seniors are supported by juniors Adam Bocker, Alison Robey, Charlie Ide, Jack Ellrodt, Jarrett Heflin, Matt Bock, and Steve Kreuch.
With one of their deepest squads in recent memory, Williams will be rolling out four varsity eights for the spring. This depth is the product of large and enthusiastic freshmen and sophomore classes built by strong walk-on retention. Many of these young walk-ons are poised to be key contributors in each of the team's boats.
Head coach Marc Mandel is excited at how quickly the team has advanced since his arrival last year: "When I took over the men's crew program at Williams in the Fall of 2017, I envisioned that in three or four years the program would (re)develop to a point where we could field four eights worth of quality, dedicated athletes. Little did I know we would reach that milestone in less than two years! As we have prepared for our spring racing season over the last seven months, we have made significant strides both in terms of how to train effectively and facilitate boat speed. I'm very much looking forward to seeing the final product in May as we continue to make daily progress over the next six weeks."
Peter Fousek '21 captured the sentiment of the whole team about the upcoming season: "I want to go fast!"
Williams will spend the spring building towards their spring championships at New Englands on May 4th and NIRC on May 12th, where the Ephs will have a shot at qualifying for the IRA national championship. If they qualify Williams will return to the IRA regatta for the first time since the 1800s.
Williams will kick off their racing season next Saturday in Medford, Mass. against Tufts and Coast Guard on the Malden River.