MALDEN, Mass. -- No. 4 Wellesley College crew faced a test on the team's third weekend of racing during the spring season, competing against Bates College and Wesleyan University, the co-top ranked crews in the most recent CRCA/USRowing Coaches Poll, and host No. 6 Tufts on the Malden River on Saturday. The Blue took part in a series of double duals in their final competition before the NEWMAC Championships.
The Blue faced off with Tufts in the opening duals in the Varsity 8 (V8+), Second Varsity 8 (2V8+), and Third Varsity 8 (3V8+), with Wesleyan facing Bates in the other opening round duals. The winning crew in each race advanced to the final, while the losing crews squared off in petite finals.
In the opening race of the Wellesley/Tufts duals, the Wellesley V8+ finished 4.9 seconds off the Jumbos' pace with a time of 6:41.4. Tufts finished in 6:36.5, advancing to face Bates in the V8+ final. Bates opened with a time of 6:37.3 to defeat Wesleyan (6:41.4). With the final rounds set in the V8+ duals, the Blue faced Wesleyan, despite a strong opening 1000m for the Blue, it was the Cardinals that were flying in the petite final, finishing with a time of 6:38.0 to Wellesley's time of 6:47.2. In the WV8 final, Bates (6:42.1) defeated Tufts (6:46.9).
The second round of racing involved the 2V8+ crews. Wellesley opened with a win against Tufts, defeating the Jumbos (7:29.5) by over 25" with a time of 7:04.3. In the other race, Bates again advanced to face the Blue with a time of 6:58.7 to Wesleyan's mark of 7:05.6. With the 2V8+ teams meeting for the second week in-a-row, Wellesley closed the gap to just over a second in a tight match-up, falling to Bates (6:39.7) with a time of 6:40.8.
Wellesley's Novice 8 took to the course in the 3V8+ duals, defeating Tufts by a large margin in the opening round race with a time of 7:26.7. Tufts finished in 7:55.1. Again the Blue would face Bates in the final, as the Bobcats (7:14.1) edged Wesleyan (7:18.6). In the final, Wellesley (7:07.8) finished three seconds behind Bates (7:04.8).
The last race of the day was a heads-up dual between the Blue and Bates 4+ crews. Wellesley ran away with the race, defeating Bates by 18" with a time of 7:36.0 to the Bobcats mark of 7:54.6. Also in action on Saturday, Wellesley's 4th Varsity 8 completed a time trial in 7:46.5.
Wellesley will now have two weeks to prepare for the 2017 NEWMAC Championships on Saturday, April 29, on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass.