Finishing fifth of 20 entries in the ECAC Collegiate Championships Sun., May 11 in Worcester, Mass., the Cardinals used the fine showing to impress the NCAA selection committee such that Wesleyan earned its third-ever invitational to the NCAA National Championship to be held in Indianapolis, Ind. Fri.-Sat., May 30-31. The fifth-place effort in the ECAC regatta was the highest finish by Wesleyan since last qualifying for Nationals in 2001. At that time, the Cardinals placed fourth of 18 entries in the ECAC affair. The previous year (2000), the Cardinals placed second in both the New Englands and ECACs en route to their first national qualification. Those two seasons, all divisions were lumped together. This year, Wesleyan is a Division III participant. in 2013, Wesleyan took 10th place in the ECAC regatta, demonstrating solid improvement in a year's time. Wesleyan's opening race for the varsity 8 at the NCAAs was at 8:50 am on Friday. There were two heats of four boats each with the top two finishers of each heat automatically qualifying for the grand final on Saturday. The remaining four boats competed again Friday afternoon at 3:40 p.m. for a spot in the six-boat grand final. Wesleyan placed third in its initial heat behind top-seeded Bates and fourth-seeded Wellesley. Wesleyan was about eight seconds behind Bates and six seconds shy of Wellesley. Wesleyan's time was about nine seconds faster than the third-place finisher, Washington College, in the second heat, but the Cardinals placed second behind Wash. Col. in the repechage race, still good enough to make the grand final at 11 a.m. on Sat., May 31 as one of the final six boats. The Cardinals' second varsity eight also made the grand final, winning the repechage to make the final four. Their race is at 10:40 a.m. Saturday. All races will be webcast and also feature live results.
Representing Wesleyan in the ECAC Championships in the varsity 8 race was the boating of Ava Miller Lewis '17, Remy Johnson '16, Kayla Cloud '14, Emma Koramshahi '16, Annie Dade '16, Clare Doyle '14, Emily Johnson '13, Hannah Korevaar '14 and cox Brianne Weimann '15. The Cardinals raced past Ithaca, Colby, Smith, Clark and Conn. College in their heat while placing second to Trinity by 2.7 seconds. In the grand final, Wesleyan trailed Bates, Williams, Trinity and Wellesley at the finish with Washington College behind the Cardinals. These six teams comprise the NCAA team field as each will be represented by a varsity 8 and a second varsity 8 at Nationals. The other two varsity 8s in the field are from Puget Sound and William Smith. The NESCAC also announced its all-conference squad and Cloud (rower third from the right) was a first-team choice while Doyle (rower third from the left) received a nod to the second team. Doyle was also a second-team pick in 2013.
Wesleyan will have strong representation in the second varsity 8 race as the Cardinals picked up their second bronze medal in two weeks, placing third at ECACs. Wesleyan won its heat by 5.3 seconds behind the rowing of Avery Mushinski '15, Emily Sinkler '14, Emma Buford '16, Emma Halter '17, Hannah Brigham '17, Lucy Finn '14, Eva Frieden '15 and Ellen Paik '16 and the steering and cadence of cox Ari Rudess '15. Bates and Trinity outstroked the Cardinals to the finish line in the grand final whie Weseyan defeated Williams for the third week in a row.
Wesleyan's other two entries in the ECACs both qualified for the grand final as well with the third varsity 8 placing fourth of 11 and the novice 8 taking fourth of 12 boats.
(photo by Tony Grupposo P'16)