The William Smith College rowing team medaled in the second varsity eight and novice eight events at the New York State Collegiate Rowing Championships today. The Heron 2V brought home a bronze medal while the novices earned a silver medal.
The novice eight of Alyssa Deem, Emily Smith, Emily O’Brien, Kylie Wyskochil, Elizabeth Warren, Katherine Hesler, Monika von Brauchitsch, Alexandra Townsend, and Nicole Guardino won their morning heat to progress to the grand final. In the afternoon race, the Herons were in a two-boat race with Ithaca by the midpoint of the race. The Bombers pulled away for the win. William Smith stopped the clock at 7:52.262, 6.561 seconds back. The Ithaca second novice eight was third, more than six seconds behind the Herons.
“Under the direction of Assistant Coach Libby Hughes, the novice program is growing strong wings,” Head Coach Sandra Chu said. “Their practices this week opened up some new avenues to speed for them, and they have hoisted their own bar to much greater heights. Their toughness in the first 1,000 as they worked to separate themselves out from the pack showed. Their future is very bright.”
The second varsity eight, which has been challenged by injuries as late as Friday this week, came together to grab a bronze medal. Like the novices, Rachael Brown, Paige Brunner, Grace Hutton, Carissa Boire, Jennifer Sullivan, Aly Clark, Sophia Wensberg, Eliza Orrick, and Megan Miskovsky won their heat to advance to the final. In the afternoon, Ithaca, Division I Marist, and William Smith battled all the way down the course before the Bombers edged ahead for the win. The Red Foxes were 1.202 seconds off the pace in second with the Herons clocking in at 7:41.063, 3.16 seconds off the winning pace.
“This boat’s development this week without a key player was quite impressive,” Chu said. “It speaks to the adaptability of the rowers and the skills of coxswain Rachael Brown that they could gel the lineup in just one practice. They definitely have more speed to come.”
The Heron varsity eight, ranked 10th in the latest CRCA poll, was second in the morning, progressing to the grand final. The afternoon racing proved to be very competitive. William Smith was joined by No. 5 Hamilton, No. 8 Ithaca, and No. 13 RIT as well as Rochester and Marist. The Herons battled down the course, trying to push their bowball into a medal position. It came down to the wire and they got nipped at the line, finishing fourth by 0.793 seconds behind the Tigers.
“This was a fantastic race for every program,” Chu said. “The quality of racing was top-level and all of the athletes should be very proud of their performance.”