On Saturday, April 9, the men’s and women’s crew teams traveled to Medford, Mass. to race against host school Tufts and a set of other schools. Races were held on the Malden River during a sunny, yet brisk day, with light winds and temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s. Eventually, the light wind turned into a force of nature blowing directly in front of the rowers at 5-9 knots throughout the competition. What seemed to be a perfect day quickly turned around and made the already tough competition more of a challenge.
The women’s rowers were pitted up against the Tufts, Bates, and Wellesley. For this meet, the team sent its varsity eight, second varsity eight, third varsity eight, and novice four. Each boat raced in their heat and then moved on to either their Petite Final or Grand Final.
The women’s varsity eight started their day off racing in the second heat. In that event, they were up against Wellesley. The women finished with a time of 6:46.7 against Wellesley’s 6:51.2. In the opposing heat, Tufts and Bates were squared off against each other. Bates took the win and placed with a time of 6:55.5 whereas Tufts finished with a time of 7:12.5.
With a time of 6:46.7, the women were the fastest boat that morning until the Grand Finals. However, during the Grand Finals, they were bested by Bates. The Bobcats came back to defeat Wesleyan by almost ten seconds. The Cardinals rowed a 7:04.1, placing second, whereas Bates managed to place first with a time of 6:53.0.
Following the varsity eight race came the women’s second varsity eight. Their heat was also against Wellesley for the potential Grand Final spot. The Wesleyan boat placed second in their heat with a time of 7:14.4, and Wellesley took the top spot with a time of 7:00.4. Wellesley’s time in the heat was the fastest of the morning, garnering them a spot in the Grand Final, with Bates getting the other position at a time of 7:13.3.
The Cardinals just barely missed the spot with a .9 second differential. They then raced in the Petite Final against Tufts. A close race ensued with Wesleyan placing first in the Petite Final with a time of 7:20.5 against Tufts’ time of 7:24.6.
After the women’s 2v boat raced, it was time for the women’s third varsity eight to head onto the water. They lost their heat with a time of 7:40.4 against Wellesley’s time of 7:25.5. Again, the Cardinals were so close to making the Grand Final, only missing it by two seconds in contrast to Bates’ performance of 7:38.3. In the Petite Final, the 3v finished first with a time of 7:44.4. If they were in the Grand Final, they would have beaten Wellesley’s time of 7:47.7, but still would have been off Bates’ pace of 7:40.0.
Lastly, the women’s novice four entered in two races, and they dominated both competitions. In their first race against Wellesley, the boat finished with a time of 8:28.1, beating Wellesley’s time of 9:02.5. In their second race, they also placed first with an impressive time of 8:36.4 against Tufts time of 9:32.9, winning by almost over one minute.
The men, on the other hand, entered three boats: the men’s varsity eight, the second varsity eight, and the third varsity eight. The men’s team was matched up against Tufts, Bates, and the University of New Hampshire.
The men’s varsity eight finished with a time of 6:05.4 in their first heat against the Jumbos. The 1v ended up qualifying for the Petite Final, and in this race, they took out UNH with time of 6:15.8 against UNH’s race of 6:21.9. Tufts got a time of 6:01.9 to place into the Grand Finals with Bates, where the Bobcats ended up winning the Grand Final with a time of 6:05.3.
The men’s second varsity eight had a strong showing, as they took both the heat and the Grand Final in dominant fashion. In their heat against Tufts, they rowed a 6:12.8 against a 6:16.7 displayed by the Jumbos. This time, the Cardinals appearance in the Grand Finals was a successful one. They took down Bates by 10 seconds with a time of 6:24.1, while Bates was just over ten seconds behind at 6:34.3.
Lastly, the men’s third varsity eight ended up racing twice on the day. The first race was against Tufts, and the 3v boat defeated the Jumbos with a time 6:47.3. Afterwards, the men went on to row against competitor Bates. In the last race of the day, the men posted a time of 6:37.8, which was unfortunately 11 seconds slower than Bates’ time of 6:26.5.
The men’s and women’s crew teams will take on Williams in a dual meet on Saturday, April 16. The men are 18-29 all-time versus Williams, with the last victory coming in 2007, while the women have a record of 6-33. Their last win against the Ephs came in 2009. The Cardinals will hope to defeat their Little Three rival in a showdown on Onota Lake.