The William Smith rowing team’s varsity eight progressed to the petite final at the NCAA Division III Rowing Championship on Lake Natoma today. The Herons finished third in their morning heat to earn a spot in the grand qualifier and finished sixth in the afternoon race to advance to tomorrow’s petite final.
William Smith went off in the first DIII heat with Puget Sound and Williams and the second varsity eights from Ithaca and Trinity. The Herons executed a composed and conservative race plan to cover the 2,000 meter course in 6 minutes, 58.96 seconds. The four-time defending champion Ephs posted a winning time of 6:35.09, nearly 20 seconds ahead of the Loggers. The Bombers were 4 seconds behind William Smith, while the Bantams recorded a time of 7:04.40.
Williams earned a berth in the grand final (as did Ithaca and Bates, the winners of the other two heats), while the Herons and Puget Sound moved on to the afternoon’s grand qualifier. The top three finishers in the grand qualifier earn a spot in the grand final. Unfortunately, William Smith wasn’t able to duplicate its morning time, crossing the finish line in 7:13.98, nine seconds off a spot in the grand final.
Williams second varsity eight won the grand qualifier in 7:01.19, followed by the first varsity eights from Trinity (7:04.93) and Puget Sound (7:04.95).
The William Smith varsity eight was powered by Abbie DiPalma, Claire Brown, Maggie Smith, Alayna Beebe, Jamie Billington, Emily Desmery, Tess Wiggins, Tallarie Thurgood, and Alaria Pizzo.
The Herons will battle the varsity eights from St. Lawrence and Wellesley and the second varsity eights from Bates, Ithaca, and Trinity in the petite final, which is scheduled to begin at 11:15 PT on May 29.