The Hamilton College Continentals finished fourth out of five boats in a varsity 8 race that featured four ranked teams on Lake Quinsigamond in central Massachusetts on Saturday morning.
Everyone competed in great conditions on the 2,000-meter course. A light wind was present throughout, shifting from a cross tailwind in the first half to a cross headwind in the second.
Nationally ranked No. 12 Hamilton posted a time of 7:15.73 in the varsity 8, about 12 seconds behind No. 3 Worcester Polytechnic Institute (7:03.70). No. 6 Smith College was the runner-up (7:09.02) and Wesleyan University was third (7:11.82). Colby College, which received votes in the latest Division III coaches poll, ended up in fifth place (7:28.76).
"Early season racing in Worcester was a great opportunity for us to see several ranked teams from New England," head coach Jim Lister said. "For our first race of the season all boats showed good speed off the starting line and carried it well to the middle of the race. Our speed fell off a little on the back half."
The Continentals landed in fifth place in the second varsity 8 (7:50.18) and the third varsity 8 (8:27.30). Hamilton's entry in the third varsity 8 had a boat-stopping crab at the 800-meter mark. Wesleyan took the top spot in the second varsity 8 (7:21.63), followed by WPI (7:26.23), Colby (7:35.95) and Smith (7:41.95). Smith was victorious in the third varsity 8 (7:34.50) with Wesleyan second (7:40.14), WPI a close third (7:40.50) and Colby fourth (7:56.45).
The team races again on Sunday, April 7 and Lister views that as an opportunity to improve and build on present successes.
"The extra day of racing here on Sunday will allow us to make adjustments," he said. "The coxswains did a fantastic job handling the race course and side by side racing. With the lack of water time and some illness this past week, we look forward to racing back here next month at full go. We will see many of the crews again at the National Invitational Rowing Championships on May 12."
-- Release by Amanda Ghiloni '22