The Hamilton College Continentals took home medals in three races at the 2019 New York State Collegiate Rowing Championships, which were held on Fish Creek in Saratoga Springs on Saturday.
"The New York State Championships in Saratoga Springs had 28 teams from around the state," head coach Jim Lister said. "It was an opportunity to measure ourselves with new teams like Army and assess our progress with teams we raced recently including Ithaca College.
"Each boat raced to a podium finish. Four crews with a silver medal performance and two crews with a bronze medal performance. This is a reflection not only of our speed of the program but also to the depth. The work invested during winter and early spring training allowed each crew to compete with the top boats in each race."
Hamilton's nationally ranked No. 7 varsity 8 earned the bronze medal in the collegiate 8 final with a time of 6:47.66. Marist College clinched gold in 6:42.1 and No. 3 Ithaca College was runner-up with a time of 6:44.041. The Continentals reached the afternoon final by winning their five-boat heat in 6:47.4 in the morning.
"The varsity women had a very fast race with Marist and Ithaca battling down the course to a very close third place finish," Lister said. "The boat was much more ready to race third-ranked and Liberty League champion Ithaca after last weekend's weather-delayed race. The boat stayed in contact all the way down the course to keep the margin under three seconds. The rowers knew that they could keep up with Ithaca and show the speed they are truly capable of."
Hamilton also took the bronze in a seven-boat collegiate JV 8 with a time of 7:06.632. The top three was the same as the collegiate 8 as Marist took first place (6:57.8) and Ithaca was close behind in second place (6:59.709).
"The women's second varsity 8 found themselves with familiar fast teams Marist and Ithaca to race it out for the top three places," Lister said. "Once again they showed that this young boat is capable of racing up to the speed."
The Continentals ended up second in the collegiate third varsity 8 in what turned out to be a thrilling head-to-head race with Ithaca. Hamilton's time of 7:27.684 was less than two seconds behind the Bombers (7:25.93). "The women's third varsity 8 had a tight race all the way down," Lister said. "For a young boat, that was a huge confidence boost.
"The team was really up for racing. They came in very prepared with their minds set on making their speed and staying very internal. We look at each practice this week as another opportunity to get a little faster as we train for the National Invitational Rowing Championships."
The National Invitational Rowing Championships, which doubles as the NESCAC Championships, is Sunday, May 12 on Lake Quinsigamond near Worcester, Massachusetts.