April 19, 2012
Last spring, everyone on the Hill had their eyes on Hamilton’s women’s lacrosse team, given they were ranked as the country’s best team in the preseason. This spring, everyone should be eyeing our crew teams, who are ranked first in New York State and tenth in the country for Division III.
The women’s team got off to a running start over spring break, beating nine teams en route to winning the Mayor’s Cup for the second consecutive year. One of those teams was 13th-ranked St. Lawrence.
“We have a long-standing rivalry with St. Lawrence,” said standout coxswain Kelsey Burke ’13. “Hamilton won both the varsity and second varsity women's events when we competed in Tampa, but after many weeks of both teams gaining strength and speed, this will be a tough test.” The test refers to Hamilton’s slated trip to St. Lawrence this weekend.
The best crew teams, especially at this level, tend to progress over the course of the season and save their best performances for last. With states coming up in a few short weeks, this weekend’s matchup will certainly help the
Continentals gauge just how far they can go in the postseason.
Since traveling to Florida, the women’s team put together a string of wins before falling to William Smith College, who ranks just ahead of Hamilton.
Seniors Antonia Villa and Holly Bailey captain the team, but crew is a team sport, and that shows with this group.
“Everyone's goal is to make the whole team faster, whether it be individually improving technique in the boat [or] cheering on teammates from shore,” said Burke. “The boats keep getting faster, and that's thanks to everyone on the team.”
Last weekend, they took home the Gilman Plate and Gilman Goblet by way of sweeping upstate neighbor Union College on the Erie Canal.
“It's a friendly competition with Union that puts trophies on the line, and the girls were really happy to put up another W for Hamilton,” noted Burke.
The women’s crew team, maybe Hamilton’s best athletic team for the 2011-12 season, hosts their final home race this Sunday, April 22.
“[We are] hoping to maintain our ranking as first team in New York, so we would appreciate all the support we can get from the Hamilton College community!” Burke added.
The men’s team has experienced a few more ups and downs this season, but they hope they are saving their best for last.
“Our goals are always to perform well in the regular season, but there is always speed to be gained and a lot can change by championships,” said captain Chris Visentin ’12. “As a crew, I think our boats are some of the fastest we've seen in a while.”
Winning the Mayor’s Cup in Tampa was a group effort from both teams, and the men’s team has since defeated Tufts and Tulane as well. The senior leadership has been crucial to all the team’s success this spring.
“Chris [Visentin] and Adam Minchew [’12] have had phenomenal seasons,” said Simon Judd ’13. “Andre Matias [’12] has performed especially well coming off a serious injury.”
After recently falling to Union and RIT, the men will also head north to race St. Lawrence, and it sounds like a similar story to that of the women’s team.
“St. Lawrence and Hamilton have a longstanding rivalry,” noted Visentin. “The regular season meet has a trophy dedicated to it named in memory of a past Hamilton rower for the winning varsity eight.”
The men haven’t been able to hoist that trophy for a couple years, but they are optimistic about doing so this weekend:
“We're racing them this weekend, so the race is definitely circled on our calendar,” said Visentin.