Both the Hobart and the William Smith rowing teams opened the fall racing season on Saturday, Sept. 28 with victories in the HWS Challenge on the Canal. The Herons won the novice eight and varsity four races, and finished second in the varsity eight and second in the varsity eight events. The Statesmen won the varsity eight, second varsity eight, and novice eight events and had the top pair on the 4- kilometer course on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal.
Following the race, the Statesmen and Herons gathered with alums, coaches and staff at the Hellstrom Boathouse to dedicate three new shells and honor the first Hobart rowing Team of Distinction. William Smith dedicated a new eight named Salaminia in honor of long-time volunteer assistant coach Ford Weiskittel, who also founded the modern rowing program at the Colleges in 1982. Hobart dedicated two eights, named the Angela Desino P’94 and Cecilia E. Joy.
The Colleges then honored the two-time IRA Championship-winning pair of Christopher Desino ’94 and Robert Desino ’94, who became the first rowing team to be named a Hobart Team of Distinction.
This prestigious classification was created by the Statesmen Athletic Association to honor the very best teams in Hobart history. Teams become eligible for Team of Distinction recognition 10 years after the completion of their season. Typically, a Team of Distinction has won a conference, regional or national championship, been undefeated over the course of its season, is considered to be one of the “very best Hobart teams ever” in the respective sport or has overcome exceptional challenges to be successful.
The Desinos were three-time medalists at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships. After capturing a bronze medal in the coxless pair in 1992, the brothers won back-to-back gold medals at the national championships. In 1993, the pair won their first IRA gold, the championships in the pair at the Canadian Ontario Regatta and the Canadian Henley Regatta, and competed in the Henley Royal Regatta in the Silver Goblets & Nickalls’ Challenge Cup. They closed out their Hobart careers in an eight, competing in the Temple Challenge Cup at the 1994 Henley Royal Regatta.
The current Hobart College and William Smith College rowing teams will be back on the water on Saturday, Oct. 5, when they compete in the Head of the Genesee in Rochester, N.Y.
Hobart returns 25 rowers from last season’s roster and welcomes 23 newcomers. The Statesmen are the eight-time defending Liberty League Champions, in addition to winning four medals at the 2012 New York State Championships and bringing home three medals from the ECAC NIRC.
William Smith rowing’s 31 upperclasswomen are joined by 20 first-years. The Herons were ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation in the CRCA coaches poll last season. The varsity eight took third in the NCAA Championship grand final and the team placed fourth overall at the championship. William Smith put all four of its entries on the medal stand at the New York State Championships and the Herons won their third consecutive Liberty League Championship.