Williams captures eighth consecutive national championship, third of spring
INDIANAPOLIS — Williams won both the I Eights Grand Final and the II Eights Grand Final Saturday morning, capturing its eighth consecutive NCAA Div. III rowing championships at Eagle Creek Park.
Williams finished with a team total of 42 points, the maximum a team gets to reach at the national championships. It was the ninth championship in the history of the Williams women's crew program.
“It’s been an up and down year and our team has really battled Mother Nature all year so this was just a continuation of a theme," Williams head coach Kate Maloney said. "I spoke to the girls about staying calm and rowing within themselves, within the boat and rowing relaxed. Kudos to the committee for making the changes and getting us off early.”
The I Eights boat of Anna Hopkins as the coxswain, Dana Golden in the stroke seat, Anne Haley, Piper Sallquist, Emma Laukitis, Stephanie Neul, Andrea Remec, Margaret Steer in seats seven through two and Katie Westervelt in the bow, took an early five-seat lead against Bates in the Grand Final after 500 meters. Bates, William Smith and Washington College had their boats less than three seconds behind at 1,000 meters.
The Ephs led by less than two seconds at the 1,500-meter mark, but pulled away in the past 250 meters to take a boat length lead against Bates before the Bobcats closed just a bit before the finish to close the gap to 2.232 seconds by the finish.
The II Eights Grand Final was won by the Ephs boat of Joowon Choi as the coxswain, Anne Tewksbury at stroke, with Katie Constantini, Tala Abujbara, Sophia Jannetty, Jenna Maddock, Andrea Dunchus, Julia May in seats seven through two and Katherine Amano in the bow.
“Our coach talked about the tradition of this team and as a senior seeing the process through my time has been great in viewing what it takes to make this all happen. This year was so exciting and it never gets old. I am so impressed with all the girls that are here and all the rowers at home that knew what it took every single day. I am proud of how we were able to push each other, find better speed, make adjustments and really support each other. That attitude is what got us here and what is so special about this team. It was such a fun year. Not every race was easy this year and we are so thankful for that level of competition in our league.”
The Ephs held a slight lead at 500 meters, but made a strong move between 500 and 1,000 meters and increased their lead by a little more than two seconds. Another 1.5 seconds increase between the 1000-meter mark and the finish saw the Ephs beat second-place Trinity by just about 3.5 seconds, 7:24.573 to 7:28.026.
The win by the Ephs now gives Williams 30 NCAA titles overall and marks the second time (2002) that men's tennis, women's tennis and rowing have won the NCAA title in the same spring season.