WORCESTER, Mass. – No. 6 Wellesley College crews's varsity eight took fourth place, while the second and third varsity each won bronze, and the novice eight took home gold, on Friday at the National Invitational Rowing Championships (NIRC) on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester. Returning to Lake Quinsigamond for the third-straight week of competition, Wellesley placed all four boats in the grand finals and tied for first in the overall women's points trophy standings.
The Wellesley varsity eight (V8+) edged No. 2 Wesleyan to take first in the second of three opening heats. The Blue advanced to the grand final, where they ultimately fell short of No. 1 Bates (6:45.422), No. 4 Williams (6:45.823), and No. 3 Ithaca (6:46.169), finishing just off the podium with a time of 6:54.104. No. 7 Tufts and Wesleyan rounded out the field in the V8+ grand final.
The second varsity eight (2V8+) also opened the day with a win, defeating Ithaca (7:06.917) by just over six seconds with a time of 7:00.778. The 2V8+ went on to capture a bronze medal finish in 6:48.492, trailing only Bates (6:41.340) and Williams (6:47.982). Like the 2V8+, the third varsity eight (3V8+) picked-up a bronze. The 3V8+ started the day with a second place finish in the morning heats, advancing to the 3V8+ grand final with a time of 7:08.568 behind first place Williams (6:58.096). The Blue went on to finish behind first-place Williams (6:53.099) and second-place Bates (6:53.363).
In the Novice 8 grand final, Wellesley outdueled Ithaca College to take gold, finishing in 7:12.730, just ahead of the Bombers' mark of 7:13.619. The two crews were well ahead of the rest of the field, as William Smith took third in 7:29.069.
Defending national champion Wellesley will now make final preparations for the team's eighth-straight trip to the NCAA Division III National Championships, Friday-Saturday, May 26-27, on Lake Mercer in West Windsor, N.J.