No. 2 William Smith kicked off its spring racing season in the Cayuga Duals, hosted by Ithaca on the Cayuga Inlet. The Heron Varsity 8 won its showdown with the No. 10 Bombers and No. 7 Marietta.

William Smith's top crew — Kim Goral, Jess Steketee, Lauren Blake-Whitney, Sinead Reilly, Katie Paige, Sarah Gordon, Laura Cappio, Libby Hughes and Alyssa Trebilcock — turned in a dominant performance in the morning's showdown against Ithaca and Marietta. The Herons steadily pulled away down the 2,000-meter course. William Smith crossed the finish line in 7:21.9 for an open-water victory. The Bombers were more than 11 seconds back with a time of 7:33.4. The Pioneers were a distant third in 7:45.0.

"The 1V rowed a dominant race, taking a lead by the third stroke and then opening that margin throughout the race," head coach Sandra Chu said. "They had a very effective sprint, probably one of the best I've seen in the program's history."

The Heron second Varsity 8 also raced Ithaca and Marietta. William Smith trailed the Bombers through the midpoint of the race and clipped a bridge abutment, ending their hopes of a comeback.

"It's an unfortunate error, but one the coxswain will learn from," Chu said. "I was very proud of the boat's ability to keep their heads in the race and finish to a high standard."

The second Varsity 8 posted a time of 7:56.6. Ithaca won the race in 7:35.9 with the Pioneers again placing third in 8:02.3.

The Heron third Varsity 8 and Novice 8 finished behind Ithaca in a head-to-head race.

In the afternoon, William Smith's Varsity 8 and second Varsity 8 dropped dual races against Division I Cornell. The Big Red's Varsity 8 is ranked 15th in the nation in the Division I CRCA/USRowing poll. The Heron third Varsity 8 and Novice 8 raced against Ithaca a second time. The N8 executed a much improved race, trailing the Bombers 3V8 by just 0.3 seconds.