WORCESTER, Mass. -- Led by an open water victory from its varsity eight boat, No. 2 Wellesley took home its fourth-consecutive NEWMAC championship Saturday on Worcester's Lake Quinsigamond.
Wellesley captured both the NEWMAC title and the Florence Jope Smith Cup for overall points at the event, which was hosted by Clark. This year's NEWMAC title was decided by point totals across the varsity eight and second varsity eight races. The Smith Cup includes overall points from all four races.
In the varsity eight race, Wellesley nabbed an open-water victory over second-place WPI, coming in at a time of 6:49.5. The Engineers finished second with a 6:56.81, followed by Simmons in third with a 7:05.82. Smith (7:08.67), Mount Holyoke (7:16.45), Coast Guard (7:17.42) and Clark (7:20.09), rounded out the seven-team field.
The Blue's second varsity eight ranked second overall, finishing behind only Smith, to help Wellesley to the NEWMAC title. The Blue used a late push to surpass WPI and Simmons just before the finish, recording a time of 7:16.6. Smith won the race with a 7:14.3, while Simmons was third (7:17.06) and WPI was fourth (7:20.81). Mount Holyoke (7:46.68) and Coast Guard (7:56.16) completed the field.
Wellesley's third varsity and and novice eight boats also finished second in their races, giving the Blue no lower than a second place finish in all four contested races. In the third varsity, WPI took the race with a time of 7:40.39, followed by the Blue in second with a 7:44.04. Simmons (8:03.12), Smith (8:10.8) and Mount Holyoke (8:27.99) rounded out race.
In the novice race, Mount Holyoke grabbed the title with a 7:31.0, followed by Wellesley with a 7:40.06 for second. In third, Smith recorded a 7:59.59, while Clark was fourth in 8:20.96.
Individually, Wellesley senior Becca Kimball won the inaugural NEWMAC Rower of the Year award, voted on by the league's coaches. Kimball was joined on the NEWMAC All-Conference team by senoir Maggie West and sophomore Meg Roberts.
Wellesley finished with 38 total points in the final Smith Cup Standings. Smith and WPI tied for second with 28, followed by Simmons (24), Mount Holyoke (20), Coast Guard (6) and Clark (4).
In the final NEWMAC Championship points standings (V8, 2V combined), the Blue finished with a total of 31, giving Wellesley the conference title. WPI and Smith were second with 24 points. Starting with the 2015 event, the NEWMAC Champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.