GENEVA, N.Y. -- Reigning national champion and No. 5 nationally-ranked Wellesley College crew returned to the water for the 2017 spring season on Sunday, concluding their annual spring training trip with a race against No. 4 Williams and No. 10 William Smith on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal in Geneva, N.Y.
Following a productive week in Clemson, S.C., new-look Wellesley lineups found both success and areas for improvement during the team's first test of the spring racing season.
The first race of the day was the 4+ race. Racing against Varsity 4+s from both Williams and William Smith, Wellesley's novice 4+ also faced a strong head current and a head wind, finishing with a time of 10:40.17 over the 2000m course. In the next race, Wellesey's Novice 8+ was the big winner of the day, walking away with an open-water win in a head-to-head match-up against the host Heron's Novice 8+ with a time of 8:34.25.
In the varsity races, the Wellesley 3V8+ challenged Williams with a time of 8:57.22, finishing behind the Ephs mark of 8:28.02. The 2V8+ made lineup changes throughout the week, and ultimately finished 10" back of Williams with a time of 8:26.00. The Ephs completed the course in 8:17.9. The day concluded with the V8 race, where Wellesley simply ran out of race course in a bid to catch Williams. The Ephs jumped off the start, but it was the Blue that made soild gains through the middle 1000m to close the gap. However, Williams held-on to their advantage over the final 5000m to finish in 8:12.12, ahead of Wellesley's time of 8:17.38.
The Blue will continue the spring season next Sunday when they face-off with four of the top teams in the country on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. The Blue will race against No. 2 Bates, No. 9 WPI, No. 12 Trinity, and Rochester, who received votes in the latest CRCA/USRowing National Coaches Poll.