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Women's Crew


Caroline Walton '15 leads Hamilton College women's crew into 2013-14. Walton was a 2013 Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Division III second team All-American and earned a spot on the NESCAC and Eastern College Athletic Conference all-conference teams. Walton rowed in the 5-seat for Hamilton's varsity eight at last season's National Invitational Rowing Championships (NIRC), and is one of seven rowers from that boat back this season. Helen Higgins '13, who graduated, is the only one not returning. Three seniors, including three-year varsity letter winner Keara Fenzel '14, are on the roster. The others are Mollie Major '14 and Leah Sorensen '14. All three are team captains. Hamilton was ranked as high as No. 10 in the coaches poll last spring, and was No. 4 in the final NCAA New York regional rankings. The women finished sixth out of 38 entries in the collegiate fours at the 2012 Head of the Charles.

The women defeated Union College in the varsity eight and captured the Gilman Plate for the eighth straight year in 2013. Hamilton competes against Union every spring for the Gilman Plate and Gilman Goblet. The Plate is awarded to the varsity eight champion, and the second varsity eight winner receives the Goblet. Hamilton also retained the Goblet in 2013. The hardware stays with the winning school until the programs meet again the following year.

Holly Bailey '12 and Antonia Villa '12 helped lead one of the top women's crews in Division III in 2012. Bailey was a 2012 second team All-America selection and was on the NESCAC all-conference first team. She was the first women's crew All-American since the program was awarded varsity status prior to the 1998-99 academic year. Villa earned NESCAC all-conference second team and ECAC all-conference honors. Hamilton finished second in the varsity eight petite final at the NIRC after the boat was third in its preliminary heat and turned in the fifth-fastest qualifying time out of 19 entries.

Hamilton was ranked No. 10 in the final 2012 USRowing/CRCA Division III Top 15 poll. The NCAA had the team and the varsity eight ranked third in the New York Region, and the women ended up fourth in the varsity eight grand final at the New York State Championships. Hamilton claimed silver medals in the collegiate fours at the 2011 Head of the Charles and in the open fours at the 2012 NIRC. The program captured the Tampa Mayor's Cup points trophy for the second straight year during spring break in 2012. Hamilton took first place in five of its first seven varsity eight races in the spring.

Allie Hoeltzel '14 rowed with the Vesper Boat Club in the lightweight women's quadruple sculls at the U.S. 2011 Under-23 World Championships Trials. Bailey rowed with the Pennsylvania Athletic Club in 2010 as part of a lightweight women's quadruple scull at the U.S. Under-23 trials. Bailey won gold, silver and bronze medals at the 2010 U.S. Rowing Club Nationals, and captured three gold medals at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta that same year.

Hamilton was ranked No. 10 in the final 2011 Division III coaches poll and made appearances in the 2008 and 2010 polls. The women were ranked in the region in 2007 and 2011. Allie Boyaris '12 was selected to the 2011 NESCAC All-Conference first team and Kelsey Burke '13 was placed on the second team. Elizabeth Collins '10 was on the inaugural NESCAC all-conference team in 2010.

In 2009, Hamilton tied for fifth place in the point standings out of 27 programs and received the award for most improved team at the New York state championships. Head coach Eric Summers took 14 women's team members to England in the summer of 2008 to compete in the Reading Amateur Regatta and the Henley Women's Regatta.

Exceptional academic performance is important to the women's program. Grace Bowers '15, Meredith Garner '15, Higgins, Rachel Landman '15, Major, Hideko Nara '15, Jessica Pedersen '15 and Hannah Zucker '15 made the 2013 NESCAC Spring All-Academic Team. The team is restricted to letter winners in the sophomore, junior and senior classes that have a cumulative grade point average of 3.35 or better. Nara and Pedersen were named national scholar-athletes for Divisions II/III by the CRCA in 2013.

The fall season starts on Oct. 12 with Hamilton's Bridge-to-Bridge Head Race on the Erie Canal. The women race in Boston (Head of the Charles) and Philadelphia (Head of the Schuylkill) later in October. The spring season features a 12-day training trip to Tampa, Fla., in March. The New York State championships and the National Invitational Rowing Championships highlight the spring schedule.