Williams takes III rowing crown
The Williams Ephs captured their third straight NCAA Division III women’s Rowing Championships team title Saturday at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center on Lake Natoma.
The title is the Ephs’ fourth overall. Williams, which edged Trinity (Connecticut), 25-21, for the win, is one of only three schools to win the Division III title since the championships were established in 2002. Only Colby and Ithaca have also won the team crown.
Puget Sound and Ithaca tied for third overall, while Bates, St. Lawrence and William Smith finished fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, to round out the final standings.
Williams head coach Justin Moore said the first championship was special for obvious reasons, but the latest one represented sacrifice for the six seniors on the team, who chose to compete in the championships rather than participate in many of the pre-graduation activities at the school.
“It’s our graduation week at the college, and we have six seniors here who have made the choice to forego their Senior Week, to basically miss all the activities other than walking with their class,” said Moore. “For them to come out here and give us a chance to win like they did was absolutely phenomenal, and I think that makes this an incredibly special victory, because there was so much sacrifice that went into it.”
Although the Ephs are graduating a number of seniors, it doesn’t appear they are sacrificing any talent. As the only squad in the championship to place both Varsity Eights in the grand final, Williams demonstrated its true depth and perhaps provided a glimpse of a bright future. In that race, Trinity took the early lead and maintained it for the entire 2000-meter course, crossing the finish line with a time of 6:57.01. Williams I and II battled for second and third, respectively, with Williams I ultimately claiming the second spot by just under four seconds. Puget Sound, Ithaca and Coast Guard registered fourth through sixth place finishes.
“We’re losing a lot of seniors, but as our sophomores just showed in the second Varsity Eight, the depth of our team is our strength,” said junior coxswain Allison Prevatt, “I think next year, we’re going to have to reassess where we’re starting from, but we’re definitely looking forward to filling that first boat with a lot of young talent.”
Trinity head coach Wesley Ng said he felt he put together the best lineup he could in preparation for what he anticipated would be a tight race.
“We were very excited to get there and we knew that it was going to be very, very close. We were consistently exploring new ways to find speed the last three weeks, but when it came down to it, our original lineup was the best that we could put together,” said Ng, who noted that Trinity also will graduate five seniors, but predicted that the team would remain strong. “We are going to miss [the seniors], but what they’ve taught us about preparation has been amazing. We have three freshman in our second Eights boat and we have two other freshmen who came with us as spares, so it was great for them to see what’s possible with hard work.”
While Bates took the win in the petite final (7:07.47), Trinity II and St. Lawrence dueled for the second and third slots. In spite of Trinity’s push in the last 700 meters, St. Lawrence crossed the finish line a narrow sixth-tenths of a second ahead of the eventual national runner up. William Smith, Washington (Maryland) and Ithaca rounded out the field.
In the Third Final, it was Puget Sound II over Bates II with William Smith II and St. Lawrence at third and fourth.
1. Williams, 25; 2. Trinity (Conn.), 21; 3. Puget Sound, 15; 4. Ithaca, 15; 5, Bates, 12; 6. St. Lawrence, 9; 7. William Smith, 8.
Eights Petite final
1. Bates [Nicole Ritchie, Rebecca Waldo, Alison Frye, Ellen Patterson, Emma White, Caitlin Murphy, Laura Hubbell, Emily Chandler, Nora Collins (coxswain)], 7:07.47; 2. St. Lawrence I, 7:12.56; 3. Trinity (Conn.) II, 7:13.16; 4. William Smith I, 7:16.06; 5. Washington (Md.), 7:23.78; 6. Ithaca II, 7:27.33.
Eights Grand final
1. Trinity (Conn.) I [Carmel Zahran, Loren Massimino, Alison Schmidt, Natalie Jones, Ashley Swiggert, Amory Minot, Deede Dixon, Eleanor Wierzbowski, Stephanie Apstein (coxswain)], 6:57.01; 2. Williams I, 7:00.60; 3. Williams II, 7:04.55; 4. Puget Sound I, 7:08.23; 5. Ithaca I, 7:13.55; 6. Coast Guard, 7:20.05.
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association