The William Smith rowing team’s novice eight earned a bronze medal at the Head of the Fish Regatta on Saturday. The Herons battled strong headwinds and 26 other crews to earn a spot on the podium.
In the women’s collegiate novice eights race, Arianna White, Christine Reighley, Lauren Blake-Whitney, Sinead Reilly, Katie Paige, Megan Ulin, Carly Ellis, Emily Hartung, and Ava Pavao navigated the 5,000-meter course in 13 minutes, 41.59 seconds. William Smith was more than five seconds ahead of the fourth place crew. Williams finished first (13:15.20) followed by St. Lawrence (13:35.80).
The Herons narrowly missed a second podium appearance in the women’s collegiate eights event. William Smith’s varsity eight was fourth out of 19 crews, logging a time of 13:30.15. Defending national champion Williams won the race in 13:03.36 followed by Division I crews from Colgate (13:28.20) and Connecticut (13:28.70). The Heron varsity eight was powered by Christine Babcock, Kara Ruskin, Alaria Pizzo, Crary Chandler, Jess Steketee, Alayna Beebe, Sarah Gordon, Liz Hafer, and Libby Hughes.
William Smith finished ahead of regional rival Ithaca (5th, 13:37.04), as well conference foes St. Lawrence (9th), Skidmore (10th), and Rensselaer (17th).
In the women’s collegiate JV eights division, the Herons finished sixth out of 15 crews, registering a time of 14:36.14.
“The varsity eight has impressed me with its complete commitment to using every practice and every race as a path towards excellence,” Head Coach Sandra Chu said. “They haven’t sat on their laurels nor have they accepted any of their very strong results as their top-end speed. Today they rowed just a little harder and just a little smarter to find some big gains in speed, beating crews who have been ahead of us to this point.
“The 2V has had a similar path and it was their ability to execute some key technical changes that gave them such a strong performance today.”
William Smith also competed in the women’s collegiate novice fours event (12th of 23) and the women’s collegiate varsity fours event (23rd of 31).
The Head of the Fish is the final regatta of the fall racing season for the Herons.