It’s just the second week of the fall racing season, but the William Smith rowing team is in midseason form. The Heron varsity eight battled through windy and rainy conditions to win the Head of the Genesee today.
The Head of the Genesee combines a morning head race and a 1,500-meter sprint in the afternoon. The sprint time is tripled and added to morning time. The lowest combined time wins.
In the morning, William Smith’s top crew-Kim Goral, Lauren Blake-Whitney, Sinead Reilly, Katie Paige, Christine Reighley, Alyssa Trebilcock, Tess Wiggins, Elizabeth Hughes, and Maggie Smith-posted the fastest time of the day, navigating the course in 17:39.53. Last year’s head race winner, Mercyhurst, was second in 17:53.96 followed by last year’s overall champion, Ithaca (18:03.99).
The Herons’ second varsity eight-Emily Davidowitz, Abbe Lentz, Carly Ellis, Sarah Gordon, Emma Tiedemann, Caroline DeWeirdt, Eliza Orrick, Emily Hartung, and Alexandra Clark-had a very strong showing, placing first among 2Vs (fifth overall out of 14) with a time of 18:38.9. William Smith’s second boat defeated four first varsity eights. The Heron third varsity eight was 13th (20:01.44), defeating Geneseo’s second varsity eight.
In the afternoon, several programs decided to scratch and head home, leaving only eight boats left to battle it out.
William Smith’s varsity eight finished second in the sprint to Ithaca, crossing the line less than a second behing the Bombers (5:04.89-5:05.19). The Herons’ overall winning time of 32:55.10 earned the gold medal by a comfortable margin over Ithaca (33:18.66).
William Smith’s second varsity eight produced a time of 5:19.97, narrowly missing a spot on the podium. The Herons were fourth overall, trailing Hamilton.
The Heron third varsity eight improved its race performance from the morning, trailing Ithaca’s 3V by only 2.7 seconds.
The William Smith novice eight had several challenges, including a jammed seat which forced a restart to its head race. The crew then lost a footstretcher about 1,000 meters through the race and had to row the remainder of the race with only seven oarswomen. They still managed to finish seventh out of nine crews in 21:31.78. Division I Buffalo won the race in 19:00.03. Novice boats only row the morning head race at the Head of the Genesee.
William Smith returns to the water on Sunday, Oct. 23, when the Herons compete in the prestigious Head of the Charles.