Williams Women Rowers Advance Both Boats to Saturday’s Grand Finals at NCAA Championships

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – Racing in ideal conditions in the morning on Lake Mercer the Ephs succeeded in advancing the Varsity 1 boat directly to tomorrow's Grand Final, while the Varsity 2 boat struggled in its race and was forced into the afternoon Repechage.

The Eph V2 boat was the first boat in the water today and they were in a heat with Wellesley College and Washington College.

Needing to finish first in this heat to advance directly to tomorrow's V2 Grand Final, the Ephs got off to a good start, but were just over two seconds behind the Wellesley Blue 500 meters in.

Wellesley kept their furious pace off the start and extended their lead over the Ephs to almost six full seconds at 1,000 meters and the Ephs would get no closer as The Blue pushed their lead to closer to seven seconds at 1,500 meters and then won in a time of 6:49.62 with the Ephs crossing the finish line in 6:57.65. Washington College was third, and well off the pace with a finishing time of 7:167.92.

Finishing second in their heat pushed the V2 into the afternoon Repechage with Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and Ithaca. The top two finishers in the Repchage would advance to the V2  Grand Final, while the other two boats would be placed in the V2 Petite Final 

In the V1 race Williams, Ithaca and Wesleyan all got off to good starts, while RIT had some early trouble.

Ithaca was first to assert itself and the Bombers opened up a 1.52-second lead over the Ephs at 500 meters. Ithaca held pace and even managed to build their lead up to 1.69 over Williams in the next 500 meters and a speck more over Wesleyan. 

Over the final 1,000 meters the Ephs began a measured and composed comeback that found them shaving 1.38 seconds off the Ithaca lead at 1,500 meters. Wesleyan tried to keep up with Williams, but the Ephs shook off the Cardinals and with about 300 meters to go, caught and passed, the Bombers to take the lead and the win. 

The Ephs punched their ticket to Saturday's V1 Grand Final winning in a time of 6:30.93. Ithaca just edged hard-charging Wesleyan 6:33.03 to 6:33.81. RIT came in fourth with a time of 6:53.75.

The Eph V2 boat's return to the water in the afternoon to do battle with Ithaca, RIT and Washington College was delayed an hour due to high winds. Starting at 4:48 p.m. the crews faced difficult conditions with cross winds and some chop.

All four V2 boats had the same goal; finishing in the top two to advance to tomorrow's V2 Grand Final at 11:12 a.m. The third and fourth place finishers in the race would race in the Petite Final. 

Ithaca led at each 500-meter checkpoint and the Bombers finished just ahead of the Ephs in a time of 6:57.29. Williams crossed the line in second place and earned a berth in the V2 Grand Final with a time of 6:59.58.

RIT made a spirited late charge to try and catch the Ephs at the line, but the Williams V2 held them off and secured the final berth in the V2 Grand final. Rochester was third in 7:00.48 and Washington College was a distant fourth with a time of 7:22.32.

The V1 Grand Final is slated to begin tomorrow at 11:36 a.m. 

Eph Boats

C: Louisa Abel
8: Clara Beery
7: Bertie Miller
6: Eileen Russell
5: Gabby Markel
4: Rebecca Smith
3: Maddy Boutet
2: Emory Strawn
1: Emily Burch

C: Ava Palmo
8: Katie Swoap
7: Caroline Kessler
6:  Diana Matthiessen
5:  Julia Mini
4: Annie Rush
3: Stephanie Brown
2: Josie Maynard
1: Molly Burroughs