Division III Rowing - Williams defends national titleMay 26, 2007

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. -- With strong showings in both the petite and grand finals, Williams College successfully defended its Division III national title at the NCAA Rowing Championships at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn. It was the third overall team title for Williams in the six years of NCAA Division III championship competition.

"We were pretty unsure coming in to the season if our team could do it a second time, but we gained a lot of confidence through our training in the wintertime and as the season went on," Williams head coach Pat Tynan said. "We seemed to get in a pretty good groove while we were down here in Tennessee and felt like we were getting faster each time we were on the water. It's just a special day for this team. It's been a lot of fun to coach them. It's a great group."

The Ephs' first eight, with a time of 6:49.59 in the grand final, defeated second-place Trinity by nearly four full seconds to grab the title-clinching 12 points. Williams' 2V8+ turned in a third-place finish in the petite final with a time of 7:09.94. But with at-large eights entries Mary Washington and Coast Guard claiming the top two spots in the petite final, Williams earned six points for being the top-team finisher. Trinity finished fourth in the petite final, earning five points with their time of 7:12.57.

Bates College, the third of four full teams to have entries in both the grand and petite finals, took a sixth-place finish in the petite final in 7:15.25 to earn three points. But the Bobcats vaulted to a third-place overall finish as they edged Puget Sound for third place in the grand final by the slimmest of margins. Bates crossed the line in 6:57.10 with UPS close behind at 6:57.17.

Ithaca College, which has won two Division III national titles, took fifth in the petite final with a time of 7:12.89. But the Bombers struggled to a sixth-place showing in the grand final in 7:00.48. Ithaca and Puget Sound finished the competition with 11 points each, but Puget Sound was awarded fourth place due to a higher finish in the grand final. William Smith took fifth place in the grand final and sixth overall with a time of 6:59.92.

At-large entries Mary Washington and Coast Guard finished one-two in the petite final, but were not eligible to earn team points. Mary Washington stopped the clock at 7:03.36, just three-tenths of a second ahead of Coast Guard (7:03.66).

For Saturday's complete results, Sunday's heat sheets and quotes from coaches and rowers, log onto utladyvols.com.

-- Courtesy Tennessee