The William Smith College varsity eight and Head Coach Sandra Chu earned top honors in a vote of the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association crew coaches. The Herons’ top boat earned the Crew of the Year Award, while Chu was named the league’s Coach of the Year.
The Herons’ varsity eight, comprised of first-year coxswain Jess Hardy (Shrewsbury/Shrewsbury, Mass.), sophomore stroke Rebecca Gutwin (Champlain Valley Union/Williston, Vt.), sophomore Edwina Wilson (Churchill/Bethesda, Md.), senior Libby Weick (Fairport/Fairport, N.Y.), senior Julie Deprez (The Bancroft School/Paxton, Mass.), sophomore Cassie Priest (King & Low-Heywood Thomas School/Stamford, Conn.), first-year Laura Batchelor (Brookline/Brookline, Mass.), first-year Nicole Balsamo (Newton Country Day School/Centerville, Mass.), and junior bow Lisa White (Deering/Portland, Maine) had a strong spring racing season.
Ranked second in New York State and ninth nationally, the crew earned UCAA Boat of the Week honors after posting a 17.24 second victory over RIT. At the UCAA Championships, the Herons were impressive, outracing Vassar by 5.4 seconds to capture the league title. The boat also boasts a victory over Pacific Lutheran early in the season.
In her second season at the helm for the Herons, Chu led William Smith to the inaugural UCAA Championship this season with victories in the varsity eight, the second varsity eight, and the novice four events, and a second place showing in the novice eight event.