INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—The NCAA Division III Women’s Rowing Committee has selected William Smith College to participate in the NCAA Division III Women’s Rowing Championship. The inaugural Division III championship will be May 30 through June 1 at Eagle Creek Reservoir in Indianapolis.
“We’re excited to be a part of history,” Head Coach Kelly Babraj said. “This is going to be an incredible race.”
The championship is comprised of six teams, and each team is required to field two boats of eight rowers and a coxswain. Joining the Herons will be crews from Colby College, Ithaca College, Pacific Lutheran University, Smith College, and Williams College.
On May 12, the William Smith varsity-eight won the Petite Final of the Avaya Collegiate Championship in West Windsor, N.J., with a time of 7:07.61, 14 seconds better than Colby. The Herons’ time was also within four-tenths of a second of Ithaca and Williams, the third and fourth place finishers, respectively, in the Grand Final, and nearly a second better than fifth place Smith.
William Smith—which competed in the all-divisions NCAA Championships in 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000—will field one of the youngest teams in the championship, with two first-years, five sophomores, one junior, and only one senior in the varsity-eight.
“We’ve come a long way,” Babraj said. “I don’t think anyone thought we’d be [in the NCAA Championship] when the fall season began.”