The William Smith College varsity four won the gold medal at the ECAC National Invitational Rowing Championships at Lake Quinsigamond on May 10th.
Brianna Taylor, Carissa Boire, Margaret Cameron, Aly Clark, and Megan Miskovsky finished second in their morning heat to progress to the afternoon’s grand final. In the medal race, the Herons squared off with Clark, Coast Guard, Connecticut College, Ithaca, and Williams. William Smith battled with early leaders Coast Guard and Ithaca until the Herons were able to break free of the pack at the 500. The crew powered down the course, demonstrating confidence and composure to win the Open Women’s Four Championship title, a first for William Smith in the event. The Herons posted a time of 8:28.028, 3.564 seconds ahead of second place Coast Guard. The Bombers, Camels, Ephs, and Cougars rounded out the field.
The Heron novice eight of Alyssa Deem, Emily Smith, Emily O’Brien, Maggie Santinelli, Elizabeth Warren, Lauren Pomerantz, Monika von Brauchitsch, Alexandra Townsend, and Tamsin Smith also earned a spot in the grand final with a second place finish in the heats. In the grand final, William Smith finished fifth with a time of 8:17.29.
The Heron second varsity eight needed to be in the top two of its morning heat to stay in contention for a medal, but finished third, competing in the afternoon’s petite final. A highly competitive field, all six crews came through the the 500-meter mark dead even. William Smith surged into the lead at the 1,000. Going into the final 250, the Herons had about six seats over the field. A late charge from Smith and Hamilton made the finish too close to call from the shore. Spectators and coaches waited anxiously as officials reviewed the video. Finally, the announcer proclaimed William Smith victorious by just 0.401 seconds over Smith. Hamilton and Ithaca rounded out the top four. Rachael Brown, Kylie Wyskochil, Jennifer Sullivan, Katherine Hesler, Grace Hutton, Paige Brunner, Sophia Wensberg, Eliza Orrick, and Nicole Guardino captured the petite final in 7:31.575.
William Smith’s varsity eight, ranked 11th in the latest coaches poll, finished fourth in a heat that also included No. 3 Wellesley, No. 4 Trinity, and No. 9 Wesleyan. The Herons were fourth in the morning heat to progress to the petite final. In the afternoon, William Smith seized the lead in the first 1,000 meters, but they weren’t able to sustain the advantage and by the 1,500 were holding off a charge from Washington College to stay in third place. The Herons crossed the finish line in 7:42.763, 1.603 seconds ahead of the Shorewomen. Ithaca placed first followed by Wesleyan.
“Our spring season has been one of tremendous growth,” Head Coach Sandra Chu. “With some early season bobbles, it certainly would have been easy for us to roll over and give up. Instead, we continued to believe in the process that defines our program—a persist search for personal excellence and daily improvements. In doing so, we achieved end-of-season speeds that I did not think were possible in late March. Every woman in the program grew as an athlete and a person because of her willingness to take big risks and look to herself for change. It has been an incredibly rewarding season because of this grit.”