Williams Women Finish Regular Season with Two Silver Medals

2nd Varsity Silvers at NIRC
2nd Varsity Silvers at NIRC

WORCESTER, MA--Williams women's crew came to Worcester ready to make a statement at the National Invitational Rowing Championships and claim some medals after the events of last weekend. It was a beautiful day at the lake, and each boat rowed a heat and a final, both 2000 meters in length. 

The Williams women had two boats entered in the 3V event. Coxswain Brittany Chung, Emily Saulnier, Ria Hanson, Anna Bruce, Josie Maynard, Sarah Yang, Harper Johnson,  Betsy Button, and Grace McCabe made up the Williams "A" boat. The 3V came out strong in their heat, finishing only 2 seconds behind Bates and guaranteeing themselves a spot in the grand final. The results played out similarly in the final, with Bates taking first and Williams holding off a final move by Wesleyan to claim second place. Williams finished with a time of 7:01.9, just three seconds behind the winning time of Bates. "It was really exciting to see all of our hard work over the season come together today!" said stroke seat Emily Saulnier, "the field was definitely competitive, but we were able to stay internal and trust our training. I think we're all really proud of what we did today." 
The Williams 3V "B" boat, which rowed as a 4V last weekend, was composed of coxswain Rebecca Tauber, Amelia Jamond, Maddie Dyke, Abi Matthew, Annabelle Feist, Nicole Fernandes, Crystal Ma, Grace Chamberlin, and Allie Campbell. The young boat was determined to improve on last weekend's performance, when they placed last in the 4V event. They certainly succeeded. The women placed 5th in their heat, sending them to the petit final. The final did not get off to a strong start for the Williams women; "something went really wonky and we ended up with some blades over the lane-line and had to recollect, so we had already lost contact with all of the other boats in the first meters of the race," says 2-seat Grace Chamberlin. "But we didn't panic; we just realized what we needed to do and went for it." The boat walked through 3 boats over the course of the next 1750 meters and finished with a sprint that put them in second place, only 4 seconds behind RIT in first. "It's the most satisfying second place I've ever gotten, and I'm so proud of the girls in this boat for being up to the challenge," said Grace. 
Ava Palmo, Fiona Yonkman, Brynn MoynihanAnnie Rush, Kate Latimore, Katherine Melkonian, Katrina Wheelan, Masa Peterson, and Stephanie Brown were determined to repeat their success from last weekend in the 2V race. Hyped up on the momentum established by the 3V and 4V, they racked up another second place finish with a time of 6:48.36. "Our race felt great, but we still have room for more speed. We had a solidly second place finish, and we decreased the margin between Bates and our boat," reports 3-seat Katrina Wheelan. 

Louisa Abel, Clara Beery, Bertie Miller, Caroline Kessler raced in the 1V event. After a serious fight to claim second in their heat, the 1V secured their place in the grand final. The 1V finished in 6th place with a time of 6:35.17, just .17 seconds behind Tufts. Bates College dominated the day, taking first place in every women's event, but the Williams team largely viewed the weekend as a success. Senior coxswain Louisa Abel summed the day up most simply and most accurately: "It was a day of learning and we're always grateful for an opportunity to race with our best friends."

This team of best friends now waits with bated breath until Monday to find out if today's performance was enough to earn one of the three at-large bids to Nationals. If so, the 1V and 2V will continue on, while those not hoping to compete at Nationals have officially completed their spring season. Coach Kate Maloney echoed the pride expressed by the 3V and 4V in her final all-team meeting, saying "so now we wait. But no matter what, I am so proud of this entire team for everything you've done this season."