Women's Rowing Battled Adversity with Tenacity, Poise; Optimistic for Success in 2018-19


Despite a shortened spring season, the St. Lawrence University women's rowing team made strides in their final weeks on the water, including strong performances during the Liberty League, New York State and National Invitational Rowing Championships, that Director of Rowing and women's head coach Nick Hughes feels will lead to success next season. "Unfortunately, many of the factors that are out of our control seemed to conspire against us. A late and challenging spring, weather wise, left us chasing race rating ahead of our ability to maximize length and efficiency," Hughes said. "Key injuries and untimely illnesses hampered our ability to boat consistent race lineups. Still, the women handled these adversities with the kind of tenacity and poise I've come to expect from the women at St. Lawrence." The team's first two regattas of the season were cancelled due to inclement weather and dangerous racing conditions, but the Saints started strong in a four-team regatta on the Cayuga Inlet hosted by Ithaca College on April 14. "In every season, there are factors that we can control as a team and those that we cannot. This year's squad created a climate of collaboration that made their significant physiological and technical progress possible," Hughes said. "They have a right to feel proud of sustaining a culture that rewards merit and industry." The varsity four posted an 18.3-second margin of victory in their first competitive race of the spring, while the varsity eight earned a win over Skidmore in the petite final and the novice eight finished second. The following weekend on the Erie Canal in Rome, New York, the Saints' varsity eight bested Rochester and the second varsity eight was second in a four-team regatta that included a nationally ranked Hamilton team, which was then No. 4. St. Lawrence raced in back-to-back championship regattas on May 4 and 5, at the Liberty League and New York State Championships, respectively, before sending three boats to the NIRC Regatta for the final races of the season. "Our fourth-place showing in the Liberty League and 14th team placement at the National Invitational Rowing Championships fills us with optimism and purpose about what we can do next year," Hughes explained. "We'll miss the significant contributions of our graduating seniors, but expect breakout performances from our returners. I'm especially confident that the rising seniors will provide strong leadership, informing each training session with both urgency and care." The Saints graduated four in the Class of 2018 in Bieke Bekker, Michela Morrissey, Vina Smith and Maya Williams. Morrissey was the St. Lawrence selection to the All-Liberty League team, while Bekker, Smith and William each earned both Liberty League and NIRC All-Academic honors. Always known to be one of the strongest teams in the classroom, the women's rowing program had 16 individuals earn all-academic recognition from both organizations for the 2017-18 academic year. 2018 Awards and Honors – All-Liberty League Michela Morrissey Liberty League All-Academic Bieke Bekker Lilly Bianchi Emily Buell Lily Devereux Caleigh Donahue Amanda Dupuis Taylor Goldman Erin Nason Ailise Powers Susie Register Grace Riehl Emily Ross Vina Smith Hetherington Spofford Alyssa Stahrr Maya Williams National Invitational Rowing Championships (NIRC) All-Academic Bieke Bekker Lilly Bianchi Emily Buell Lily Devereux Caleigh Donahue Amanda Dupuis Taylor Goldman Erin Nason Ailise Powers Susie Register Grace Riehl Emily Ross Vina Smith Hetherington Spofford Alyssa Stahrr Maya Williams

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