Crew looks for stroke of success in upcoming ECACs

By Ben Fields '15

In a season plagued by injuries and fraught with cold, the Hamilton men’s and women’s crew team was excited to hit the water in the warmth this past weekend. Heading to Lake Whitney to compete in the New York State Collegiate Championships, Hamilton looked to bag some wins at the end of their season. The women’s tournament featured some of the best crew teams in the country, including the second ranked team in the nation, William Smith, while on the men’s side the top teams included St. Lawrence University and the U.S. Military Academy.

The men’s team faced stiff competition from the other New York schools at Whitney Point, but was still able to find its stride in several of the races. Placing second in the second varsity eight petite final on Sunday, the Conts were just 0.78 seconds behind the winning team from Army. With Jaime Leiva-Cabrera ’14 at coxswain, the team pushed through to hold their own over some impressive teams. Although it was a tough weekend for the Continentals, finishing 10th overall, they still had some impressive races, including a sixth-place finish in the novice four final. The team of Jack Cavanaugh ’16, Marc Horschman ’16, Ronald Sprague ’16, Russ DeGrazia ’15 and Alec Melone ’16 improved by almost ten seconds from Saturday to Sunday. While they would have liked to do better, the men’s crew team has the upcoming ECAC Invitational in Worcester, MA on Sunday to prove their strength.

On the women’s side, Hamilton’s varsity eight took sixth with a time of 7:06.89. The second varsity eight had a strong showing with a fourth- place time of 7:24.31, just nudging out St. Lawrence University by 0.20 seconds.   The third varsity eight final gave the Conts a chance to show what they are made of with a solid third place finish, and a time of 7:42.43. With good weather on the horizon, the women gear up for the final race of the season at Worcester on Saturday.

This has been one of the coldest seasons for the Hamilton crew teams, and they have suffered significantly in terms of practicing because of this. Coach Eric Summers said, “Despite all of that, the team handled the spring really well.” In a sport that is so dependent on the whims of the weather, it is never easy when the Erie Canal doesn’t thaw until the second week of April. But as Coach Summers said, “This is truly a team. No one individual has stood out because everyone has contributed and made us better.” This teamwork will no doubt lead to a promising last weekend coming up at ECACs.

In a sport dictated by mere seconds, the Continentals have nowhere to go but up in their invitational next weekend. Hamilton looks to finish the season on a high note after facing adversity all year.


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