WORCESTER, Mass. – Wellesley College crew finished second in the Varsity Eight (V8+) and Second Varsity Eight (V8+) races and first in the Third Varsity Eight (3V8+) and Fourth Varsity Eight (4V8+) races to claim the Florence Jope Smith Points Cup at the 2019 New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Rowing Championship on a blustery and cold Saturday morning on Lake Quinsigamond.
The Smith Cup is awarded annually to the school with the highest number of points from the overall results at the NEWMAC Championship. The Blue have now won the award in each of the past nine seasons. Wellesley finished with 34 points, two ahead of WPI (32). Smith (24) was third, Mount Holyoke (10) and Clark (10) tied for fourth, while Coast Guard (8) was sixth and Simmons finished seventh. In addition to the Smith Cup, Wellesley senior Katie Livington (Wellesley, Mass.), and juniors Frances Dingivan (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Rhiannon Mulligan (Santa Cruz, Calif.).
With victories in the V8+ and 2V8+ races, WPI snapped Wellesley's streak of eight consecutive NEWMAC Championships, claiming the team's first conference title. The Engineers will receive the conference's automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Division III Rowing Championships. The Engineers led the way in total points with 49 and were followed by Wellesley in second with 44 points. Smith College was third with 39 points, followed by Mount Holyoke in fourth with 30 points, Clark in fifth with 29 points, Simmons in sixth with 22 points and Coast Guard in seventh with eight points.
WPI rallied to catch the Blue in the last half of the V8+ race after the Blue got out to a lead through the opening 500m of the day's first race. WPI earned gold in the V8+ for the first time in program history, finishing in 6:52.04. Wellesley followed in second (6:55.58), while Smith was third (7:01.83). The top three boats distanced themselves from the field, with the Pioneers finishing 13.27 seconds ahead of fourth place Mount Holyoke (7:14.14). Clark (7:22.44) was fifth and Simmons (7:25.88) was sixth in the V8+ standings.
The Blue and Engineers combined for the top two spots in the 2V8+ race as well, with WPI claiming gold for the first time since 2013 in the 2V8+ with a .13 second victory over Wellesley. The victory in the 2V8+ clinched the NEWMAC title for WPI. The Engineers finished with a time of 7:13.28, just ahead of Wellesley's mark of 7:13.41. Smith (7:26.64) again followed in third, with Coast Guard taking fourth (7:44.76) and Clark (7:53.26) fifth. Mount Holyoke was sixth (7:58.47) and Simmons (8:04.87) was seventh.
Wellesley swept the final two races of the morning, earning enough points to eclipse WPI for the overall points trophy. Wellesley (7:53.99) finished well ahead of second place Smith (7:44.10) to with the 3V8+. WPI (8:05.35) was third and Simmons (8:31.15) was fourth. The Blue (7:47.17) also topped WPI (8:18.72) in a match race for the 4V8+ title.
Wellesley will return to Lake Quinsigamond next weekend for the 2019 New England Rowing Championships on Saturday, May 4, at 8:00 AM.
Wellesley (4/27) NEWMAC Championship Lineups:
FLORENCE JOPE SMITH CUP CHAMPION -Wellesley
The Florence Smith Cup is awarded to the school with the highest number of points from today's overall results. Scoring is calculated using a point system on the fact that there are a total of seven schools in today's competition (Point totals: Seven-boat races: 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2; Six-boat races: 12, 10, 8, 6 4, 2; Five-boat races: 10, 8, 6, 4, 2; Four-boat races: 8,6,4,2; Three-boat races: 6,4,2, Two-boat races 4,2)
Wellesley = 34 points
WPI = 32 points
Smith = 24 points
Mount Holyoke = 10 points
Clark= 10 points
Coast Guard = 8 points
Simmons = 6 points