For the second year in a row, the William Smith College varsity eight finished third in the grand final at the NCAA Division III Rowing Championship at Eagle Creek Reservoir. Coupled with the second varsity eight’s victory in its petite final, the Herons earned third second straight fourth place trophy as a team.
Like Day 1 of the championship, the schedule for Day 2 was thrown into tumult by the weather. The petite and grand finals for the 2V and 1V were originally scheduled for late morning and then moved up to a 7 a.m. start out of concern for the forecast. When thunderstorms materialized before sun up, the start was delayed 90 minutes.
The 2V petite final opened the day’s racing with William Smith squaring off against Washington (Md.). The Herons defeated the Shorewomen by nearly 10 seconds in yesterday’s repechage. Today’s final was a closer race, but the result was the same. Susan Tuvell, Carissa Boire, Caroline DeWeirdt, Eliza Orrick, Emily Shelden, Emma Tiedemann, Emma Dow, Morgan Burgess, and Leila Peraro seized the lead off the line and steadily walked away from Washington, pulling across the finish line with an open water lead.
The Herons crossed the finish line in 7:48.152, 5.501 seconds faster than the Shorewomen. William Smith placed fifth overall among the 2Vs at the championship. Williams won the 2V grand final.
In the 1V grand final, the top five crews in the latest CRCA poll plus No. 8 Washington squared off. The top three crews remained tight all the way down the course. Seven time defending champion and top-ranked Williams held the lead through each of the 500 meter checkpoints, on its way to its eighth straight title. Second-ranked Bates remained in contact with the Ephs, but couldn’t halt their dynastic run. Likewise, the No. 3 Herons were hot on the heels of the Bobcats, but ran out of race course. The Shorewomen were in fourth place at 500 meters, but No. 4 Trinity (Conn.) overtook them before the halfway point and held on to that spot. Washington was able to hold off No. 5 Wellesley to take fifth place.
Kim Goral, Jess Steketee, Lauren Blake-Whitney, Sinead Reilly, Katie Paige, Sarah Gordon, Laura Cappio, Libby Hughes, and Alyssa Trebilcock stopped the clock in 7:25.592, 4.95 seconds off of Williams’ pace and 2.718 behind Bates.
The final team standings were Williams 42 points, Bates 35, Trinity 31, William Smith 28, Wellesley 21, and Washington 20.
The NCAA Championship caps another exceptional season for the Herons. William Smith won its third straight Liberty League Championship, winning a gold medal in both the 1V and 2V. The Herons earned four more medals the following weekend at the New York State Championships, including gold in the 1V and the novice eight. William Smith completed its championship prep with a bronze medal in the 1V at the ECAC NIRC and a sixth place effort by the 2V.