Wesleyan, ranked third in New England, traveled to the Mystic River in Malden, Mass. Sat., April 13, and came away with two outstanding performances in the varsity eight against NESCAC rivals Tufts and Bates. In the first round of the heat/final format, the crew of coxswain Grant Nikols '13, Ben Record '15, Tenzin Masselli '15, Keegan Dufty '14, Bryce Hollingsworth '13, Chris Nanda '16, Sam Hoefle '13, Trevor Michelson '13, and Peter Martin '14, took control early and managed the race well, in defeating Tufts with a winning time of 6:16.3 to Tufts 6:21.2. "In round one, the crew got off the line well, and was able to cover any moves that Tufts attempted. They showed great poise and maturity, and the way they handled the first round had a great impact on their performance in the final," said Head Coach Phil Carney. In the second round, the crew faced Bates, one of the top Division III crews in the nation last year and fourth ranked in New England in 2013. "The crew was excited to have the chance to face Bates, as we knew that it would be a hard fought race, and a test of our speed at this point in the season," said Coach Carney. Another good start gave the Cardinals the early edge, and they continue to move out through the body of the race. When the flag dropped, the final margin was almost 10 seconds, with Wesleyan at 6:06.5 to Bates 6:16.0. " We know that Bates traditionally comes on strong at the end of the year as conditions in Maine improve, and we also know that our toughest races are still in front of us, with Williams and Trinity over the next two weeks.. The team has handled the early part of our schedule well, and we think there is a lot of reason for optimism going forward," Coach Carney added.
In the lower boats, the Cardinals found good success as well, with victories in the second and third varsity eights, along with two fours. The second varsity eight, consisting of coxswain Andie Kleeman '16, Sam Factor '14, Nick Petrillo '14, Noah Solomon '14, David Hinds '13, Peter Cornilie '15, Carter Peterson '13, Evan Ortiz '16, Colin Russell '15 moved easily through the heats with a 30-second win over Tufts. In the final, a hard earned eight-second victory over Bates finished the day for this crew, which stands 8-0 on the season to date. The third varsity eight had just one event, a head-to-head match up with Bates. While the race was close through the first 1000m, the Cardinals moved out to a convincing 16-second win by the finish. This crew included coxswain Max Dietz '16, Ethan Currie '15, Peter Heye '14, Ted Bang '16, Sam Giatzoglou '16, Matt Weinsier '16, Rilwan Babajide '16, Phil Lee '15, and Stephen MacNeille '15. This crew stands 5-0 versus other third boats this season. Finally, for the first time this spring, the team participated in fours racing, breaking the fourth boat into a novice and JV four. In four events, these crews went 1-3, but showed a great competitive foundation for the racing ahead.
'In all, it was a great day for the squad, and we are really fired up for the next four weekends. We will face some of the best crews in the nation, and I know that each team member is looking forward to that challenge," Coach Carney concluded. Wesleyan was planning to take on Little Three rival Williams, ranked first in New England at home Sat., April 20, but the race was moved to Worcester, Mass. Sun., April 21 due to unsafe conditions on the Connecticut River. Williams took two of three races, capturing the varsity eight event by 9.7 seconds as coxswain Grant Nikols '13, Ben Record '15, Tenzin Masselli '15, Keegan Dufty '14, Bryce Hollingsworth '13, Chris Nanda '16, Noah Solomon '14, Trevor Michelson '13 and Sam Hoefle '13 manned the Cardinal boat. The second varsity race went to the Ephs by a scant one-second margin. Wesleyan had two entries in the third varsity eight with the "A" boat victorious over Williams by eight seconds while the "B" boat trailed the Ephs by 18.4 seconds.
The Cardinals put the finishing touches on the dual-race season by hosting Trinity Sat., April 27. In a tight finish to the varsity eight race, with the same boating as the week before against Williams, the Cardinals were nosed out in the final 200m as the Bantams posted a two-second margin of victory. Thus, the Cardinals finished with a 9-4 dual-race record, 7-2 in New England. Wesleyan had a strong effort in the second varsity eight, defeating the Bantams by four seconds. The second varsity's time was only two seconds off that of the varsity eight. The Cardinals' third varsity eight was victorious by 9.6 seconds. The teams also fielded a second varsity four with Trinity posting a 23.6-second win.
Wesleyan will be in the hunt for some medals during the upcoming New England Rowing Championships in Worcester, Mass. Sat., May 4.
(photo courtesy of Tony Gruppuso P'16)