Women's rowing races in varsity 8 grand final at national regatta

Photo by Josh McKee
Photo by Josh McKee

The Hamilton College Continentals competed at the 2019 National Invitational Rowing Championships (NIRC) on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Massachusetts, on Sunday.

Hamilton's highlight of the day was advancing to and racing in the grand final of the varsity 8. The nationally ranked No. 7 Continentals finished in sixth place with a time of 7:01.109. No. 1 Bates College captured gold in 6:46.525 and was followed by No. 3 Wellesley College (6:53.397), No. 2 Worcester Polytechnic Institute (6:54.941), No. 5 Wesleyan University (6:56.813) and No. 4 Ithaca College (6:58.405). Hamilton (6:52.327) finished second to Bates (6:46.167) in their seven-boat heat. The Continentals advanced to the grand final by edging No. 6 Smith College by about a half-second for the runner-up slot in their heat.

"Having raced Smith before, we knew they were going to be really fast," head coach Jim Lister said. "Our boat raced out quickly to try and control the race. No. 1-seeded Bates showed their speed in the second half of the race for first place and our eight held on and stayed in front of Smith to the finish line for second place and a spot in the grand final. Making the grand final was one of the boat's goals for the day.

"The varsity 8 had a great final, racing with the pack and closing for a tight finish for sixth place. We hope their performance is worthy of a bid to the NCAAs."

Hamilton awaits the possibility of an at-large bid to the 2019 NCAA Division III Rowing Championship. The selection show airs on NCAA.com on Tuesday, May 14 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Sunday's event doubled as the NESCAC championship and Hamilton took third place out of the eight conference teams that entered a boat in the varsity 8.

"NIRC is our opportunity to row our fastest race of the year," Lister said. "We didn't expect to be competing in 40-degree rainy weather that lasted all day. Our team handled the conditions really well. It's a long day when you have to race twice in the rain."

The Continentals just barely missed racing in the grand final for the second varsity 8 as well. Hamilton finished in third place (7:08.7) in its heat, less than a second behind WPI (7:08.084). Tufts University was the heat winner (7:05.204). The Continentals were fifth in the petite final with a time of 7:28.304 and finished ahead of Trinity College (7:38.456). Ithaca grabbed first place in 7:17.2 just ahead of runner-up Rochester Institute of Technology (7:17.496). Smith was third (7:23.16) and Colby College was fourth (7:27.032).

"The 2V8 was so close to making the grand final," Lister said. "They had a heck of a race and showed the field that they were a strong contender for the grand final. Our 2V8 has shown great speed all year. They unfortunately had an equipment breakage that was not repairable in time and had to borrow a boat from a local college. Jumping into a different boat is extremely hard to do. The measurements can be very different and make for a hard row. The rowers worked through the adversity, but were unable to match their morning speed with the borrowed equipment. I am thankful that another team was able to help out in a tough situation."

In the third varsity 8 Hamilton qualified for the petite final by taking fourth place in its heat with a time of 7:38.725 and edged Colby by just .018 seconds as the Mules were relegated to the third-level final. Tufts' 'A' entry won the heat in 7:24.501. The Continentals were scratched from the petite final.

"Although the weather was not very pleasant, we were grateful to celebrate Mother's Day with many of the team's parents coming to town for the races," Lister said. "Thank you for all your continued support at all our races this spring.

"As the new head coach with three-and-a-half months with the team, I am fortunate to work with rowers and coxswains who work really hard. The team takes tremendous ownership and works closely together. I will greatly miss our four seniors, Grant, Trent, Vicky and Danielle. Their leadership will be missed. I am also really lucky to have this young team return next year along with all of our new first-year rowers."


Varsity 8
Rachel Sutor '20 (cox)
Emily Norum '22
Perrin Salewood '21
Ann-Sophie Koglin '20
Danielle Schuman '19
Vicky Xu '19
Pauline Santry '21
Sarah Scheuritzel '22
Katherine Buckley '21

Second Varsity 8
Carson Goos '21 (cox)
Adriana Jonas '21
Alexia Assimakopoulos '22
Celine Yam '21
Julia Hartnett '20
Elizabeth Foot '20
Sarine Arzoumanian '22
Alex Stetter '20
Gretchen Dowdy '21

Third Varsity 8
Michaela Murdock '22 (cox)
Lily Charron '21
Elizabeth Atherton '22
Kara Mathes '22
Jesse Chapman '22
Jane Fanning '22
Ally Marenco '22
Katy Shepard '22
Alison Veitch '20