One of the shortest regular seasons in Wes Crew history came to a close on Saturday, April 25, as the men and women faced in-state rival Trinity. Heading into the race this past weekend, the men had not beaten the Bantams for over a decade, having last won in 2002, while the women looked to upset the defending NCAA Division III champion and current top-ranked team in the nation. As has been the case throughout the season, weather conditions were a major factor, but not enough to keep the crews from getting on the water.
Before the race, members of the men’s team were feeling confident that they could reclaim the Norm Graf Cup from the Bantams, but they soon realized this would not be their year. For the 13th year in a row, the Bantams bested the Cardinals’ 1v, this time by a comfortable margin of about 10 seconds.
“We were tense right off the line and that affected our whole race, and we let the conditions get the better of us and lost control of a race that should have been much closer,” said Men’s Captain Ethan Currie ’15. “We have to stay poised and relaxed, especially if we face bad conditions like we did on Saturday.”
Despite the defeat, the day was not a total loss, as the 2v and 3v were able to pull out victories and end the regular season on a high note.
“I couldn’t be happier about the work the 2v and 3v have been doing,” Currie said. “It’s a testament to the type of training our whole squad puts in during the winter. We have every single guy there every day during winter training, and it really shows in their results. I am confident both boats can put up some big numbers on race day.”
This loss meant that the men ended the season with an overall record of 2-3 and their first losing season since the 2002-03 campaign.
The women’s 1v and 2v also could not find success against the Bantams, losing by 23.4 seconds and 10.2 seconds, respectively.
“The race against Trinity was a tough one,” said Women’s Captain Gillian Mahoney ’15. “I think it is safe to say that it wasn’t our best day of racing, not for lack of power or effort but because these things happen. We have some things to work on going into the championship racing season, but I firmly believe that we will head into New Englands a contender and a different team than we were this past weekend.”
Once again for the women, the 3v stayed dominant on the water and won its race by 7.6 seconds. The Cardinals’ winning time of 7:53.1 was only six-tenths of a second slower than Trinity’s 2v, which posted a time of 7:52.4.
“The 3v has been such a strong crew this season,” said Women’s Captain Emily Garvin ’15. “Our team has a lot more depth than in previous seasons, and our 3v has the potential to be as fast, if not faster, than a lot of 2v crews in our conference. One of the reasons they’re so successful is they just have this amazing levelheaded, but aggressive, attitude. It also helps that they are a very skilled and experienced crew. They’ve had some great momentum throughout the season and it will be exciting to see what they do at New Englands and ECACs.”
The women also finished the 2015 regular season with a losing record, notching just one win in their five races.
With the conclusion of the regular season, both of the squads turn their attention toward two monumental upcoming weekends, New Englands and ECACs. Since this season has been so short, and the fact that the lengthy winter allowed limited time for teams to get on the water, it is hard to get a sense of who is the favorite at New Englands this Saturday, May 2.
“We are fortunate because we’ve had more water time than basically anyone we race against, which has been hugely helpful,” Currie said. “Unfortunately, because of such bad weather this season, so many races were either cancelled, or the results don’t mean very much. So it’s hard to really know where we stand. But we see this as a positive. We recognize that the margins will be tighter this year than in the past, and any number of boats could be up to medal speed, and we have to make sure we’re one of them. And we absolutely can be.”
Since the start of the season, the goal has been to have all three boats on the podium at New Englands, and the crews believe they have put in the work to accomplish that.
“We’ve had a competitive and promising season leading up to this point, and everyone is ready to get on Lake Quinsigamond and put [it] all out there,” Garvin stated. “The energy and competitiveness that every boat has had from day to day really indicates that this is going to be a fun couple of weeks for the team.”