WORCESTER, Mass. -- The Simmons University crew team placed sixth at the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Championship this morning on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. Worcester Polytechnic Institute won its first NEWMAC crown and earned an invitation to the NCAA National Championship.
The Sharks tallied 22 points on the day, while number one nationally-ranked WPI scored 49. Number six Wellesley College placed second with 44, ahead of number five Smith College's total of 39 points. Mount Holyoke College and Clark University finished with 30 and 29 points, respectively.
Simmons placed sixth in the first varsity race, turning in a time of 7:25.88 on the two-thousand-meter course. WPI crossed the finish first with a mark of 6:52.04 to clip Wellesley by 3.54 seconds.
Senior coxswain Melissa Morton (Somers, Conn.) directed the Sharks first varsity from the coxswain seat, while sophomore Samantha Kelsey (Salt Lake City, Utah) set the pace in the stroke seat. She was followed in the shell by first year Emily Niemi (Santa Clarita, Calif.), sophomore Steffi Gaehde (Brookline, Mass.), senior Peizhu Pam Qian (Beijing, China / Developing Virtue Secondary Girls School (Calif.)), juniors Sabrina Belozerova (Newton, Mass.) and Hannah Dike (Leominster, Mass.), senior Nicole Lee (North Reading, Mass.) and first year Maggie O'Byrne (Boston, Mass.) in the bow seat.
"The water conditions today were definitely one for the history books," said Morton. "Everybody has off races and this just happened to be ours, but with that said we made so much progress this week. Tomorrow we hit the reset button and just keep rocking and rolling."
The Simmons second varsity eight finished with a mark of 8:04.876 to place sixth. WPI barely edged Wellesley with a time of 7:13.286 to win by 1.3 tenths of a second.
Junior Ally Fecteau (Burlington, Conn.) owned the coxswain duties in the 2V, followed by first year stroke Maude Elovitz (Lake Oswego, Ore.), first year Kat Jones (Methuen, Mass.), junior Lily Pennington (Watertown, Mass.), senior Eleanor Pullan (Northampton, Mass.), first year Jen-Li Barry (Santa Barbera, Calif.), senior Christine Yu (Plainville, Mass.), first year Kathryn Armour (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and first year bow Maya Wyse (Singapore).
Fecteau also talked about the tough conditions on the water this morning, remarking "The two-vee fought through heavy winds today on the course and stayed with Mount Holyoke and Clark for the better part of the race."
The Sharks finished fourth in the third varsity eight contest with a time of 8:31.155. Wellesley clocked in at 7:35.99 to win the race with Smith placing second on a time of 7:44.106.
First year Ginny Strasser (Cambridge, Mass.) served as the coxswain for the shell with first year Anna Boyles (Ridgeland, Miss.) taking a turn in the stroke seat, ahead of sophomore April Miller (Newton, N.H.), junior Jessica Ramsey (Jefferson, Mass.), first years Jessica Banafanto (Durham, N.H.), Chloe Janes(Brookline, Mass.) and Rachel Matz (Washington, D.C.), junior Chloe Feuerstein (Winchester, Mass.) and first year bow Mackenzie Gondek (Waban, Mass.).