Saratoga Springs – Coming off a rather disappointing one second loss to Williams Smith at Head of the Charles, the Ephs attacked their last week of fall practice with a mission in mind.
This weekend, the Ephs traveled to Saratoga for the Head of the Fish, their last race of the fall season. This race tends to be especially fun because it provides an opportunity for the novice rowers to have their first racing experience.
Opening the day of racing, the 1V hit the water in the collegiate women's eight race, ready to fight. This time around, the women won the race with a 20 second lead on Williams Smith. The Ephs finished the 3.35k course in 11:43.07 and the Herons finished in 12:01.78.
"It was an awesome piece and the perfect way to end the season. We rowed with a lot of fight and tenacity that paid off, allowing us to win the event," said Joowon Choi the 1V coxswain. "At the same time, I think we all had the most fun watching and cheering on our freshmen at their first regatta of many!"
Next to hit the water was the women's 2V. Prepared to access their newly found boat speed, the Ephs were excited to go up against new competition. This was the first time this fall that the 2v was given the opportunity to race in a category for JV boats rather than fighting against 1Vs. The 2V hit their stride as they walked through several boats, earning a first place finish with a time of 12:16.45. Additionally, the 3V competed in the JV race and finished in a time of 14:15.21.
"We rowed an aggressive race that demonstrated the speed our boat has gained in the past two months,"commented fours seat of the 2V Stephanie Neul. "I am so excited to gain even more speed this winter and come into the spring ready to go!"
The first novice event of the day was the collegiate novice four. There were two fours entered in this race, both had strong pieces with Williams A finishing in second with a time of 15:02.46 and Williams B finishing in 17:36.99.
Following a lunch break most of the rowers hit the water for their second race of the day. Williams entered two boats in the collegiate novice 8 category. Williams A won the race with a time of 13:33.94 defeating Wesleyan A by over 10 seconds. Williams B came in 8th place with a time of 14:35.24 sandwiched between WPI A and Ithaca A. This was one of the most exciting races of the day because it was the first opportunity that several of the recruited freshman had to row with their class.
"After a season of preparation it was awesome for all of us to have our first race together," recollected stroke seat of the Williams B novice 8 Christine Cunningham. "We were able to click into a new gear and are very excited for spring racing!"
The final race of the day was the women's collegiate fours. Williams entered three fours into this event. These fours only had one opportunity prior to race day to train in their lineups. Unfortunately, due to some racing circumstances Williams C was excluded from the race, however, the other two fours had a very strong performance. Williams A, comprised of four seniors and a sophomore coxswain, defeated Colgate A by 14 seconds coming in first place with a time of 13:50.46. Williams B, comprised entirely of sophomores, came in fifth place with a time of 14:19.22.
Having acquired several fish heads, it was clear that head coach Kate Maloney and assistant coach Meg Conan were very pleased with the performance of all Williams crew boats competing on this exciting race day.
Now that the fall racing season is over the Ephs are getting ready to enter their winter training. Until mid-February the crew team will be working towards gaining speed on their own, eagerly awaiting spring season.