In the inaugural UCAA Rowing Championship, William Smith beat the field by six points to clinch the Conference Title. Rowing in four of the five events, the Herons captured three first place finishes and a runner-up spot.
The women’s second varsity eight was the first to put points on the board for the Herons, battling through tough cross-head wind gusts and choppy water to defeat Vassar College by 9.8 seconds.
In the boat for the Herons were sophomore coxswain Amanda Jantzi (Tonawanda/Tonawanda, N.Y.), junior eighth seat Sarah Powell (Mt. Lebanon/Pittsburgh, Pa.), first-year seventh seat Laura Batchelor (Brookline/Brookline, Mass.), first-year sixth seat Susan Hendrickson (Hanover/Wrj, Vt.), sophomore fifth seat Susan Tarrant (Kimball Union Academy/Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), first-year fourth seat Liz Staino (Poughkeepsie/Poughkeepsie, N.Y.), first-year third seat Nicole Balsamo (Newton Country Day School/Centerville, Mass.), first-year second seat Michelle Dodge (St. Paul’s School/Jackson, N.H.), and senior bow Colleen Franz (Nichols School/Derby, N.Y.).
“The 2V rowed a tremendous race today,” said Head Coach Sandra Chu. “Their fitness and mental toughness really came through for them in the second half when they began opening their margin on the field. I was really impressed with how relaxed their rowing was while retaining the aggressiveness they needed to win.”
Sustaining the momentum of the second varsity eight, the novice four comprised of coxswain Kat Dorward (Charles O. Dickerson/Trumansburg, N.Y.), fourth seat Sarah Loomis (Milton Academy/Larchmont, N.Y.), third seat Emma Brackett (Canton Central/Canton, N.Y.), second seat Lindsay Button (Pembroke Academy/Pembroke, N.H.) and bow Liz Cost (West Genesee/Syracuse, N.Y.) came across the line in 9:30.0, a full 22 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
The second novice four boat of coxswain Chequira Christie (F.H. LaGuardia/Queens, N.Y.), fourth seat Krissy Quinn (Buckingham Browne & Nichols School/Belmont, Mass.), third seat Ellen Witoff (Clarence/Clarence, N.Y.), second seat Allison McCartney (Niskayuna/Niskayuna, N.Y.), and bow Ashley Archibald (New Hartford, N.Y.) finished third.
“This race is a tribute to the depth of the team,” said Chu. “The second novices are indicative of the strong foundation the novice team has developed. Their daily efforts at home really paid off today.”
After winning their morning heat by 10 seconds, the women’s varsity 8 came screaming down the course in the Grand Final to shut down Vassar, in the third 500, outracing the Brewers by 5.4 seconds. Taking an entire boat length in the toughest part of the race, it appeared that the group of first-year coxswain Jess Hardy (Shrewsbury/Shrewsbury, Mass.), sophomore eighth seat Rebecca Gutwin (Champlain Valley Union/Williston, Vt.), sophomore seventh seat Edwina Wilson (Churchill/Bethesda, Md.), senior sixth seat Libby Weick (Fairport/Fairport, N.Y.), senior fifth seat Julie Deprez (The Bancroft School/Paxton, Mass.), sophomore fourth seat Cassie Priest (King & Low-Heywood Thomas School/Stamford, Conn.), senior third seat Lauren Ulvestad (Breck School/Shorewood, Minn.), sophomore second seat Frances Parsons (Hoosac School/Liverpool, N.Y.), and junior bow Lisa White (Deering/Portland, Maine) had clinched the title with a first place win worth 12 points.
“The boat has been working extremely hard on their third 500. We know that as the season goes on, this portion of our race plan can mean a lot of success for us. It was great to see their training, mental focus and fierce attitudes come together all in one race,” said Chu. .
However, following the women’s varsity eight race, the team waited anxiously as the referees juried an on-the-water protest by Skidmore College against the Herons, who claimed William Smith interfered with their race by forcing them out of their lane. After over an hour of deliberations, the Heron coxswain was exonerated of any wrong-doing and the William Smitih’s points were awarded.
Meanwhile, the first novice eight had the toughest race of the day. Facing a strong crew from Saint Lawrence, coxswain Jen Singer (Hollidaysburgh Area/Duncansville, Pa.), eighth seat Liz Orofino (The Branson School/Mill Valley, Calif.), seventh seat Lauren Brady (Westover School/Ridgefield, Conn.), sixth seat Kat Loddengaard (Hampton Bays Secondary School/Hampton Bays, N.Y.), fifth seat Rebecca Racine (Otter Valley Union/Leicester, Vt.), fourth seat Kacy Cerasoli (Thayer Academy/Quincy, Mass.), third seat Carrie Miller (Belmont/Belmont, Mass.), second seat Lindsey Sprague (Marcellus, N.Y.), and bow Allie Clark (Milton Academy/Vineyard Haven, Mass.) fought to maintain a lead in the last 500 but fell short, crossing the line 2.1 seconds behind the champion Saints.
“While winning the first UCAA rowing Championship title is a wonderful feeling, I’m most proud of each boat for putting together all the pieces they needed to be successful,” said Chu. “I think that each athlete exceeded her potential today both in power and execution of technique and that is entirely due to her own hard work and tenacity. As a team, we have reached one of our most important goals this year—to put forward a team that showed great depth.”
Top three points winners: William Smith 33, Vassar College 27, Rochester 24.
Novice 4 results:
Novice 8 results:
U of R 8:32.3
Second Varsity 8 results:
U of R 7:57.4
First Varsity 8 results: