Men's Crew Fall Preview

Photo by Harrison Toll '22
Photo by Harrison Toll '22

Williamstown, MA -- Williams Crew is back on the water and gearing up for several weekends of fall racing in the weeks to come.

Head coach Marc Mandel and assistant coach Graham Marks both return for their third seasons guiding the program. Joining them on the coaching staff this year will be student assistant coach Sam Armstrong '19. Leading the team will be senior captains Jack Ellrodt, Alison Robey, and Jarrett Heflin. Heflin spent his summer rowing for the US national team and raced in the lightweight quad at the world championships.

This fall has seen the deepest squad Williams has been in many years. Thanks to a strong class of experienced freshman coupled with strong retention from past seasons the team has a large roster of strong experienced rowers. This strong depth has allowed the team to roll out multiple strong boats to at practice everyday to compete and embody the team's motto, 'Raise the Average'.

In their third year under coach Mandel's system, the Williams oarsmen have shown a high level of competency and unity in their rowing stroke. While technique still remains the focus of the fall, the team is starting from a much higher technical baseline than in Mandel's earlier seasons. The team's depth also extends to fitness where athletes' hard work over the summer has been readily apparent upon their return to campus.

Coach Mandel has enjoyed using his team's depth to experiment with a variety of lineups this fall: "It has been an incredibly fun and productive fall. We've welcomed several new athletes who have made an immediate impact, and have seen our returners continue to make progress and lead the way. With a bit of rearranging of our practice schedule, we have been able to find more time on the water than in past seasons. We have spent a good portion experimenting in mixed lineups, regularly going out in our flotilla of five four-person shells, and most importantly, simply making progress from one day to the next. While our training and development is geared toward the long-term, it will be exciting to see how our efforts during the fall play out in our upcoming head races."

The team will compete in three races this fall. On Saturday October 12th all returning rowers will travel to Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, MA for the Head of the Snake, a race the team began attending last fall. The next weekend the varsity and second varsity eights will race at the famous Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston in the collegiate and club 8+ events respectively. All athletes, including novices racing for their first time, will conclude the fall season on Saturday October 26th with the Wormtown Chase on Quinsigamond, a new regatta for the team.