Blue Crew Wins 2017 NEWMAC Title, Automatic Bid To NCAAs

Blue Crew Wins 2017 NEWMAC Title, Automatic Bid To NCAAs

WORCESTER, Mass. -- Wellesley College crew earned victories in the first, second and fourth varsity eight races to claim the program's seventh-consecutive New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) title at the 2017 NEWMAC Championships on Saturday morning on Lake Quinsigamond. WPI took the win in the third varsity eight race. 

With the victory, defending NCAA National Champion Wellesley earns the NEWMAC's automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Division III Rowing Championships on Lake Mercer in West Windsor, N.J., where Blue Crew will make the program's eighth-straight trip to the national championships.

Wellesley also earned the Florence Jope Smith Cup, awarded annually to the school with the highest number of points from the overall results at the NEWMAC Championship. Wellesley, who has now won the overall points award for seven straight years, finished first with 36 points. The Blue were followed by WPI in second with 30 points. Smith College (20) was third, followed by Mount Holyoke College (14) in fourth, Simmons (12) in fifth, and Clark and Coast Guard (6). 

Wellesley senior Kathryn Barth (Bellevue, Wash.) was named the 2017 NEWMAC Rower of the Year, earning the award for the second time in her career (2015). Junior Stephaine Kim (Wellesley, Mass.) earned the 2017 NEWMAC Coxswain of the Year award for the third time in three career appearances at the NEWMAC Championships.

Barth and Kim were joined on the NEWMAC All-Conference first team by Wellesley's Olivia Duggan (West Newbury, Mass.) and Ali Rondeau (Ocala, Fla.), as well as Olivia Shaw (Wayland, Mass.) and Nomfuneko Mafunda (Jwaneng, Botswana) of Smith, and Christine Hovermale (Alameda, Calif.), Kinsey McNamara (Chelmsford, Mass.) and Jasmine Loukola (Wells, Maine) of WPI. 

The NEWMAC All-Conference second team was made up of WPI coxswain Madison Healy (Atkinson, N.H.), as well as Lydia Warters (Simsbury, Conn.) and Halley Glier (Shelburne, Mass.) from Clark, Marissa Marsh (Vienna, Va.) and Alyssa Laystrom (Lake Zurich, Ill.) from Coast Guard, Azulina Green (Austin, Texas) and Ariya Lawson (Washington, D.C.) of Mount Holyoke and Alex Frongillo (Franklin, Mass.) and Kate Krawczuk (Harrisburg, Pa.) from Simmons.

Wellesley opened the morning with a victory in the fourth varsity eight race, defeating Smith. WPI followed by winning the third varsity race with a time of 7:28.2, defeating Wellesley (7:33) by 4.8 seconds. Smith followed in third (8:15.5). The Blue rebounded in the second varsity race, winning by 10.9 seconds over second place WPI with a time of 7:17.8. WPI finished in 7:28.7, followed by Simmons (7:54.3) in third. The Blue then captured the title with a dominate performance in the first varsity race, winning by 12.4 seconds with a time of 7:00.9. WPI was second (7:13.3), while Smith took third (7:20.0).

2017 NEWMAC Rowing Championship

Complete Results

Florence Jope Smith Cup

Wellesley 36
WPI 30
Smith 20
Mount Holyoke 14
Simmons 12
Clark/Coast Guard 6 

NEWMAC All-Conference First Team 

Olivia Shaw, Smith
Nomfuneko Mafunda, Smith
Stephanie Kim, Wellesley
Kathryn Barth, Wellesley
Olivia Duggan, Wellesley
Ali Rondeau, Wellesley 
Christine Hovermale, WPI
Kinsey McNamara, WPI
Jasmine Loukola, WPI 

NEWMAC All-Conference Second Team 

Madison Healy, WPI
Lydia Waters, Clark
Halley Glier, Clark
Marissa March, Coast Guard
Alyssa Laystrom, Coast Guard
Azulina Green, Mount Holyoke
Ariya Lawson, Mount Holyoke
Alex Frongillo, Simmons
Kate Krawczuk, Simmons