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Herons advance to National Championship

NEWPORT, R.I.- The William Smith College sailing team secured a spot in the College Sailing/Sperry Women's National Championship with a ninth place finish in the national semifinals. The Herons earned one of the Sperry Women's Western Semifinal's nine qualifying spots, finishing with 200 points. Thirty-six teams qualified for the national semifinals which began Tuesday, May 21. The teams were broken into two 18-team fleets, Eastern and Western. The top nine teams from each fleet advanced to the championship which begins tomorrow, May 23. The winner on Friday will take home the Gerald C. Miller Trophy as national champion. The first day of racing was contested in sunny conditions with cold winds out of the west-northwest around 10-20 knots. Sailors had to navigate a short difficult chop for most of the day. Eight races were completed in both divisions. The Herons sat in ninth after the first day with 126 points. Four additional races were completed in both A and B Division today in a light breeze. Junior Kate Cox served as skipper in B Division. She sailed with senior Kate Homet in races 1-8 and sophomore Cailin Gensler in races 9-13. They finished fifth with 87 points. Cox, Homet, and Gensler were in the top 10 nine times, including a pair of second place finishes. Senior Bailey Carter served as skipper in A Division with sophomore Bridget Lawless, junior Anna Flaherty, and first-year Sarah Smithcompeting as Crew. They were 10th with 113 points. Carter, Lawless, Flaherty and Smith compiled six top 10 finishes. Yale won the Western fleet with 94 points, 46 ahead of Dartmouth. The College of Charleston was third with 161 points. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rhode Island, St. Mary's College (Md.), Boston University and Cornell also qualified from the West. Brown, Boston College, Georgetown, Harvard, George Washington, Bowdoin, University of South Florida, Pennsylvania, and Stanford advanced out of the Western Semifinals. The Herons advance to the championship round for second straight year and 17th time since 1999. William Smith was third last year.

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