WORCESTER, MA -- Williams women's crew team kicked off its fall racing season at Head of the Snake Regatta on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. Newcomers to the regatta, women's crew fielded two collegiate eights and one collegiate four.
The four kicked off the day, coxed by Georgia Ganser '22 and rowed by Rachel Morrow '22, Kitt Urdang '23, Miriam Harshberger '22 and Nicole Fernandes '21. Battling the wind, the crew passed one boat and were passed by a few boats and ended in 15th with a time of 21:37.6.
"There was a significant headwind from the beginning of the race, but the four was able to hold on and dig in," Ganser said. "It's always discouraging when boats pass you, but mentally we stayed tough and held Amherst, bow number 14, at one length away for the entire race. It was gritty, fun, and competitive the whole course down."
Next up came the eights, with the A and B boats racing in the same category. Since the women's team had never raced at Head of the Snake before, both boats were seeded towards the middle and end of the pack, giving the crews a good opportunity to pass competitors in front of them.
The A boat went first, quickly passing Johnson & Wales within the first 500 meters, and Assumption soon after. Next, they slowly crept up on Middlebury for the rest of the race, crossing the finish line with a couple seats of overlap on their stern. The boat earned second place with a time of 16:31.9, only 2.7 seconds behind first place WPI.
"We committed to going hard in the beginning, and you could really see it in the way we all swung through each stroke together," four-seat Erin Barry '23 said. "It got a bit messy towards the end and you could really see everyone pushing their limits together. As a freshman, that spirit really inspired me and excited me to see where we can go from here."
Demonstrating the depth of the team, the B boat took third place with a time of 16:56.0. They also passed Colby in the first few hundred meters of the race and came close to passing two other crews towards the end. The lineup included Rosie Sokoll '22, Betsy Button '21, Catherine Powell '22, Anna Bruce '21, Liz Ostermeyer '22, Lexi Cooper '22, Alameda Chapman '22, Emma Wuerth '22 and Olivia Straw '22.
"The best part of our race was the beginning," Button, who rowed in stroke seat, said. "We felt together and strong coming out of our start sequence, and we walked another boat in the first 500 meters. The rest of the race got me excited for the rest of the season. We raced well today, but we also identified a lot that we can work on."
The Eph women look forward to working hard this week and gaining as much speed as possible before Head of the Charles next weekend, where they will be fielding a club four on Saturday and a collegiate eight and four on Sunday.