Rowers awoke before the sun on Friday, April 15th to begin the eight hour trek down to Oak RIdge, Tennessee. Varsity and club programs travel to SIRAs from all over the country, and the William and Mary Rowing Club was ready to take on its toughest competition of the season.
The novice women’s 4+ started the weekend off with a first place finish in their heat against Ohio University, Tulane, and Florida State. They raced to a second place finish the semifinals, which put them in the top heat for finals. In the grand finals, the novice women seized a second place finish ahead of top teams including Georgia State and Central Oklahoma.
The novice men advanced to the semifinals after a second place finish in the preliminary heat. After a gritty semifinal race, the novice men’s 4+ advanced to the petite finals where they clinched a first place in the final meters of the race ahead of Purdue University.
The varsity women’s 4+ advanced to the semifinals after a third place finish in the preliminary heat. They finished third in the semifinals behind Georgia Tech and Florida Tech. In the grand finals, the women’s 4+ beat out Florida Tech by a second for a fifth place finish.
The men’s varsity lightweight 8+ patiently cheered from the banks of Melton Lake until their race on Sunday. They were up against tough programs including St. Joseph, Penn State, Marietta, Purdue, and Michigan State, and ended with a fourth place finish. The men were only two seconds short of the third place finisher, Purdue University.
Collectively, this was the best year for the William and Mary Rowing Club at SIRAs, and the team will use this momentum to continue to push towards Dad Vails in less than a month.