WORCESTER -- The WPI women's rowing varsity and second varsity eight won their races as the Engineers claimed the program's first NEWMAC Championship Saturday morning on Lake Quinsigamond. In addition to snapping an eight-year reign by Wellesley, the Crimson and Gray earned an invitation to the NCAA Division III Championships May 31-June 1 in Indianapolis.
WPI (6:52.04), the No. 1 crew in Division III and in the NCAA Division III New England regional rankings, defeated No. 6 Wellesley (6:55.58) by 3.54 seconds in the varsity eight. No. 5 Smith (7:01.83), who was third in the regional rankings, was 9.79 behind the Blue to claim third. No. 15 Mount Holyoke (7:14.14) was followed by Clark (7:22.44), who is also receiving votes in the CRCA/USRowing poll, and Simmons (7:25.88).
In a photo finish, the Engineers edged Wellesley by .13 in the second varsity eight as WPI crossed the finish line in 7:13.286 and the Blue clocked a 7:13.416. Smith took third (7:26.642), followed by Coast Guard (7:44.766), Mount Holyoke (7:58.474) and Simmons (8:04.876).
Individually, Kinsey McNamara (Chelmsford, MA) was selected as the NEWMAC Rower of the Year and Madison Healey (Atkinson, NH) was honored as the NEWMAC Coxswain of the Year. McNamara, a four time honoree, and Healey, who had been the second team coxswain in 2017 and 2018, were joined on the NEWMAC All-Conference first team by three-time honoree Christine Hovermale (Alameda, CA) and co-captain Eva Barinelli (Tewksbury, MA).
Wellesley (7:35.99) won the third varsity eight by 8.116 over Smith (7:44.106) while WPI was third (8:05.357) and Simmons was fourth (8:31.155). The Blue also defeated the Engineers in a head-to-head fourth varsity eight by a 7:47.176-8:18.729 margin (31.553 seconds).
With WPI finishing third in the 3V, Wellesley retained the Florence Jope Smith Cup, which is awarded annually to the school with the highest number of points from all races at the NEWMAC Championship, by two points. It is the fifth time in NEWMAC/NEW 8 history the cup has not been awarded to the champion. Wellesley was the most recent school to accomplish the feat in 2008, reversing its fortunes against Coast Guard who claimed it in 2003. MIT hoisted the cup in 2000 (Smith) and 2001 (Mount Holyoke).
WPI is back on the water next weekend, competing in the New England Championships on Lake Quinsigamond on Saturday.
Madison Healey (Atkinson, NH) - Coxswain
Melissa Bazakas-Chamberlain (Belmont, MA)
Christine Hovermale (Alameda, CA)
Kinsey McNamara (Chelmsford, MA)
Marlies de Jong (Huntington Beach, CA)
Amelia Harvey (Sudbury, MA)
Rachel Lia (South Burlington, VT)
Caitlin Kean (Shrewsbury, MA)
Eva Barinelli (Tewksbury, MA)
Second Varsity Eight
Madeline Burke (Verona, NJ) - Coxswain
Ashley Schuliger (Lewis Center, OH)
Emily Adams (East Greenwich, RI)
Lillian Neff (Havertown, PA)
Ally Sichler (Reading, PA)
Kylie Dickinson (Meredith, NH)
Josephine Bowen (Lunenburg, MA)
Olivia Kiristis (Upton, MA)
Sarah St. Pierre (Maynard, MA)
Third Varsity Eight
Alexis Caira (Watertown, MA) - Coxswain
Pheobe Yeung (San Leandro, CA)
Liz Graveline (Litchfield, NH)
Caroline Jaeger (Fort Montgomery, NY)
Amber Beliveau (Walpole, NH)
Alexandra Heline (Hebron, CT)
Eliza Smith (Beacon Falls, CT)
Alana Guilbault (Bernardston, MA)
Rachel Peterson (Hastings, MN)
Fourth Varisty Eight
Maia Grant (Taunton, MA) - Coxswain
Katherine Bishop (San Pedro, CA)
Lexi Baker (Candia, NH)
Alyssa Richardson (Wilmington, MA)
Katherine Thompson (Groton, MA)
Paula Sardi (Cali, Colombia)
Natalia Carvajal Erker (Manhatten, NY)
Kayla Legatt (Randolph, NJ)
Alexa Freglette (Staten Island, NY)