Guts and Glory
In its first-ever full-team appearance at the NCAA Division III Championships, Washington College’s women’s crew finished sixth overall after a weekend of competition in Indianapolis. The Shorewomen’s first varsity eight placed fifth of eight boats, while the Shorewomen’s second varsity eight was sixth of six boats. Williams captured the championship with 42 total points; Bates was second with 35, Trinity third with 31, William Smith fourth with 28, Wellesley fifth with 21, and the eighth-ranked Washington College team was sixth with 20.
“Both boats rowed brave and gutsy,” says Coach Mike Davenport, director of the College’s rowing program. “They have a lot to be proud of.”
The Shorewomen’s first varsity eight’s performance reflects how much the boat has improved over the course of the season. Back in March, they had lost to fifth-ranked Wellesley at a regatta in Chestertown; in Indianapolis, after the Blue edged them out of Friday’s repechage, the Shorewomen finished 11 seconds ahead of Wellesley in the grand final. And, the first varsity eight’s pair of finishes ahead of sixth-ranked Ithaca on Friday more than atoned for finishing behind the Bombers at the ECAC National Invitational Rowing Championships in May. The women’s crew team earned the slot at the NCAA Championships after nailing the first-ever automatic qualifier in the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference’s history and winning its third MARC championship in five years.
Meanwhile, sophomore rower Mickey Fili ’15, who has emerged as one of Division III’s top rowers after taking up the sport as a novice during her freshman year, was named to the College Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Pocock Division III All-America first team. A two-sport athlete who also plays soccer at Washington College, Fili has been a fixture in the Shorewomen’s first varsity eight this season and broke the program’s 2,000-meter and 6,000-meter ergometer records earlier this year. She was named to the All-MARC team and the All-ECAC National Invitational Rowing Championships team earlier this spring.
Five of Fili’s teammates have been named CRCA National Scholar-Athletes: Rachel Benders ’13; Emily Sahadeo ’14; Abigail Thomas ’14; Kelly Bird ’15; and Taira Sullivan ’15. Benders is a three-time honoree, while Sahadeo and Thomas are second-time honorees.