INDIANAPOLIS-On the Eagle Creek Reservoir, the William Smith varsity eight competed in two races on the first day of the NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships. The Herons battled through adversity to finish third in the repechage this afternoon and will race in the petite final tomorrow morning.
The Herons, who are ranked seventh in the latest CRCA/USRowing poll began the repechage executing their game plan exactly as they had intended. At the 1,000-meter mark senior coxswain Emily Davidowitz, first-year Catherine Wolf-Rodda, senior Lauren Blake-Whitney, senior Libby Hughes, senior Katie Paige, senior Sinead Reilly, junior Aly Clark, junior Emma Dow, and senior Alyssa Trebilcock used their middle move to go from fourth to an open water lead over the field. The Herons then caught a crab, but still did everything they could to recover. They battled back, regrouping to continue the race, however, the addition of a jumped slide, forced them to lose time over the next 10 or so strokes.
William Smith finished in 7:04.706 behind second place Wesleyan who crossed the line in 6:58.911. Washington College took first, earning a spot in the grand finals along with the Cardinals, with a time of 6:57.991. Puget Sound rounded out the repechage finishing in 7:05.298.
“From a coach’s point of view today was successful. It’s about more than what happened in the race”, said Head Coach Sandra Chu. “It’s about the character I saw out of the water. It’s astounding to see this group filled with people who understand that the sport is bigger than the result – that is what stays with you longer than the time on the clock. We’re looking forward to showing our full potential in the petites tomorrow.”
In the morning heat, the Herons faced No. 2 Williams, No. 3 Trinity (Conn.), and No. 6 Washington (Md.). William Smith utilized strategy, based on the speed of their competitors, to conserve their energy in the morning heat, in order to give their best effort in the repechage to work to attain their goal of the grand final. The Ephs and the Bantams claimed spots in the grand final with times of 6:43.039 and 6:48.679, respectively. Washington College took third in 7:00.813 and the Herons crossed the line fourth (7:15.190).
William Smith will race against Puget Sound in the petite final tomorrow, May 31 at 11:10 a.m.