Posted: Apr 13, 2019
WORCESTER, MA— It was a blustery day in Worcester, Massachusetts for the 19th running of the Donahue Cup. Both the men's and women's crew teams traveled to Worcester for the first race of the season on the Lake Quinsigamond course.
The women's 1V started off the day. Ava Palmo, Sam Lazar, Julia Mini, Diana Matthiessen, Brynn Moynihan, Eileen Russell, Maddy Boutet, Fiona Yonkman, and Caroline Kessler came down the course with a time of 7:27.6, 10 seconds behind the winning crew. WPI clinched first place and, therefore, won this year's Donahue Cup.
Morgan Whaley coxed the 2V to the first Williams victory of the day. Masa Peterson, Lexi Cooper, Stephanie Brown, Annie Rush, Katrina Wheelan, Catherine Powell, Maddie Dyke and Betsy Button were cheered on by the WWC crews warming up on the sides of the race course. It was a close race: "We started out up but found our lead slipping to WPI through the middle thousand," reports freshman 3-seat Catherine Powell. "We managed to walk back out in the last 300 or so," and the crew won the race by just 1.68 seconds, with a time of 7:42.4. The women will be working on their staying power through the middle of the race as they put in another week of practice on Lake Onota.
The 3V race was delayed at the start due to the gusting wind under the bridge; it was a challenging day to back into stake-boats and find alignment for all crews. But, the WWC 3V kept up the 2V's momentum and came down the course in 8:13.1, finishing 30 seconds ahead of the second-place WPI crew. Rebecca Tauber was the coxswain of this crew, and her rowers were Grace Goodall, Josie Maynard, Anna Bruce, Harper Johnson, Liz Ostermeyer, Emma Wuerth, Olivia Straw, and Kate Latimore.
Rosie Sokoll coxed a 4V composed of Amelia Jamond, Crystal Ma, Rebecca Coyne, Alameda Chapman, Nicole Fernandes, Sydney Pope, Grace Chamberlin, and Lilia Rabinowitz. The women dealt with the same brutal winds under the starting bridge and hadn't achieved a perfect point when the officials started the race. The Williams boat veered into WPI's lane and blades were clashing when the officials called for a restart. Both crews rowed back up to the start for a second attempt at the 2000m course. The Williams crew took a deep breath and took advantage of this second opportunity: they walked on WPI by the 1000m mark and won by 22.4 seconds with a final time of 8:40.6.
The last race of the day was between exhibition 5Vs from Williams and Rochester. Powell can report again, since she and 3 other 2V rowers double-raced in order to make this final race possible. The rest of the boat was made up of coxswain Allie Campbell, Annie Rush, Katrina Wheelan, Georgia Ganser, Miriam Harshberger, Rachel Morrow, Abbey Murray-Stark, and Stephanie Brown. "In the 5V," Powell says, "our main focus was just getting blades in and out of the water. We had a couple of bobbles but we worked through them together, just staying relaxed, and we ultimately opened up a lot of length on Rochester." It was freshman Murray-Stark's first race, after only a week of on-the-water practice: "It was both exhilarating and terrifying, but I made sure to keep my mind set on staying with everyone else because that was the most important thing," says Murray-Stark. The focus on togetherness paid off; the women held on for one final Williams win of the day and beat Rochester by 8 seconds with a time of 8:57.3.
The complete results can be found here: http://qra.org/races/
The Williams women will have two weekends away from Lake Quinsig before coming back for the New England Rowing Championships on May 4th. This next weekend is Little Threes—WWC's only home race. Come out and watch these women burn it to the ground on their home course!