WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS—The water conditions were almost perfect for the New England Rowing Championships today. The wind, hail, and rain that had plagued Lake Onota in the past weeks were nowhere to be seen on Lake Quinsigamond. Schools from all over New England came to compete, and four boats rowed for Williams Women's Crew.
The 1V and 2V had morning heats to determine if they would be in the Grand Final or the Petit Final. Both boats took second in their heats, sending them to Grands. The 3V started off their day with a time trial and they had the best time out of all ten boats. The 4V had a straight final, so all four Williams boats competed in Grand Finals in the afternoon.
The 4V started off the afternoon. Rosie Sokoll coxed Alameda Chapman, Sydney Pope, Rebecca Coyne, Miriam Harshberger, Amelia Jamond, Lilia Rabinowitz, Nicole Fernandes, and Grace Chamberlin through their first and last race of the weekend. The women knew they only had one shot to prove themselves, and they were excited to see what they could do in the unpredictable 4V race. Wellesley established an early lead, but the Williams boat was neck and neck with the Tufts crew all the way down. These first three boats pulled steadily ahead of WPI and Amherst as the race went on. Williams and Tufts traded seats back and forth until just after the 1000-meter mark; at that point, Williams dug in and began to pull ahead, fighting to walk on Tufts inch by inch. With their strongest sprint of the season, the Williams women finished ahead of the Tufts boat and earned a silver medal. Their total time was 7:47.8, 11 seconds behind Wellesley and 4 seconds ahead of Tufts.
After a strong time trial, the 3V continued to bring the fire in their final. Rebecca Tauber, Grace Goodall, Harper Johnson, Maddy LaCasse, Kate Latimore, Olivia Straw, Emma Wuerth, Lexi Cooper, and Crystal Ma were determined to keep up the WWC momentum. They rocketed down the course solidly in first place for the first 1750 meters of the piece. In a nail-biting end to the race, Bates College turned it on for their final sprint, and Williams finished just .3 seconds behind the Bates crew. The final time for the Ephs' second place finish was 7:15.996, while Bates finished in 7:15.601.
The 2V women–Morgan Whaley, Masa Peterson, Catherine Powell, Josie Maynard, Anna Bruce, Katrina Wheelan, Liz Ostermeyer, Maddie Dyke, and Betsy Button–continued the silver medal streak. They held off impressive sprints by WPI and Tufts to hang on to a second-place finish. 2-seat Maddie Dyke reported, "After a dissatisfying heat in which we didn't feel like we'd reached our full potential, we brought the focus and confidence that we needed to execute a strong silver medal performance." Williams finished with a time of 7:14.5, 9 seconds behind Bates, 2 seconds ahead of WPI, and 4 seconds ahead of Tufts. "We are proud of what we did today," stroke seat Masa Peterson said, beaming.
The women's 1V finished up the day for women's events, rowing in the Grand Final against Bates, WPI, Wellesley, Wesleyan, and Smith. The other crews proved to be fierce competition. Bates won the race with a time of 6:47.5. Williams finished in 6th place, with a time of 7:09.13. Coxswain Ava Palmo summed up the day by saying, "We're proud of our race today, and we know where to make changes for next week's racing. Although it's disappointing to walk away in sixth, it's exciting to watch the division get faster."
Clearly, WWC was full of pride today. As a team, the women took third overall in the NERC standings. Bates College won the Women's Point Trophy, and Wellesley took second. The women want to give a huge shout-out to the men's team for winning the Men's Point Trophy, making them the New England Regional Champions for the first time since 2001! WWC will be back at Lake Quinsigamond for the National Invitational Rowing Championships next Sunday, where they will strive to earn a bid for the NCAA Rowing Championships.