Worcester, MA – Williams Men's Crew raced against MIT & WPI in the annual Donahue Cup on Lake Quinsigamond. A brisk headwind picked up throughout the morning.
The 2V opened up the morning with a fierce battle against MIT. The 2V had a blistering start and quickly pulled a length ahead of WPI. At 400 meters MIT took a move to go half a length up on Williams. The crews traded moves down the course as neither crew would give in. With 700 meters to go Williams pulled within two seats and threatened to take the lead, but were unable to claim it. In a hard-fought sprint MIT was able to pull away for the win. The final times were MIT-6:38, Williams-6:42, WPI-7:07.
Phil Chalmers was proud of the fight his crew showed and is optimistic about their prospect for growth: "The boys fought with a lot of heart and composure. We really pushed MIT heavies all the way to the line, but the boat still has a lot to improve on throughout the rest of the season. I think we definitely have the potential to find more speed."
Next up, the 1V rowed in a three-way battle for the Donahue Cup. The crews were all within several seats for the entire race, with no crew able to break away. Coming through half Williams made a strong move to pull ahead of WPI and cut down on the MIT lead. In a powerful sprint by all three crews, MIT came away as the victor in a time of 6:35. They were followed soon after by Williams in 6:37 and WPI in 6:38.
Six seat Dan Queen praised coxswain Alison Robey in guiding the crew through the race: "With some wise words from Alison the boat found harmony."
To round out the morning the 3V and 4V rowed against the WPI 3V. Through the first 100 meters the Williams 4V and WPI went up half a length on the 3V, but the 3V quickly stopped the WPI advance and pulled ahead of the 4V. 400 meters in the Williams 3V began moving back on WPI and were able to pull ahead by several seats going into the 1000-meter mark. With a ferocious move, Williams broke through WPI and used the third quarter to put a length of open water between the boats. Williams 3V continued to pull ahead through the finish for the win. The final times were Williams 3V-7:09, WPI-7:18, Williams 4V-7:45.
Five seat Bernal Cortés was happy with how his boat maintained their focus: "We did a good job keeping the focus in our boat, taking the strokes we knew we could take, and walked back up on WPI through 500 then sent them back the rest of the race."
Williams will be racing Amherst and Wesleyan for the Little Three Championship next Saturday on Onota Lake.