INDIANAPOLIS-The seventh-ranked William Smith College varsity eight finished 17.606 seconds ahead of Puget Sound, winning the petite final at the NCAA Championships on Eagle Creek this afternoon.
The Herons were powered by senior coxswain Emily Davidowitz, senior Lauren Blake-Whitney, senior Sinead Reilly, senior Katie Paige, senior Libby Hughes, junior Aly Clark, junior Caroline DeWeirdt, senior Alyssa Trebilcock and junior Emma Dow, built up a seven-seat lead by the 500-meter mark. William Smith extended its advantage to three seats of open water by the 1,000 mark and continued to increase its lead by multiple boat lengths before stopping the clock at 7:20.861. The Loggers finished with a time of 7:37.255.
Trinity College, who won the varsity eight grand final, went on to become the 2014 NCAA Division III Women’s Rowing National Champions. Williams came in second place and Bates took third.
“It could have been a devastating blow to the team when first-year Catherine Wolf-Rodda was pulled from the line-up this morning following yesterday’s crab,” said William Smith Head Coach Sandra Chu. “She has been an impact player in our training camp and during the past 15 days, the boat has picked up a ton of speed. We re-rigged the boat to port, put Blake-Whitney up front, and dropped in Caroline DeWeirdt-all changes which could have rattled the boat. Instead, after only 45 minutes in their line-up during warm-up, they came out, guns blazing.”
“I could not be prouder at their resiliency and determination today. Everything we did at home showed today-the training, the technical changes, the new strategies. Blake-Whitney stepped up, using what she had learned from sitting behind Wolf-Rodda, and ignited an aggressive race plan,” continued Chu. “No one was willing to settle. All-American Reilly urged “more, more” from her seat and everyone responded. DeWeirdt was a rock. It was ferocious. It was inspirationally resilient.”
“At the beginning of the season we really wanted to win a national championship because that was the only way we thought would culminate our experience,” said Trebilock, summing up the experience for the boat and her classmates. “But these past two days have been ultimately satisfying-in different ways. And we have culminated it in a way we did not conceive that has been even more satisfying.”