From New Jersey:

The Williams College women’s V1 boat made a statement today out racing top-seeded Bates to the finish line to earn the title of The Fastest Crew in DIII, but Bates won the NCAA team title with the combined scores of its V1 and V2 boats, edging the Ephs by one point: 39-38.

“The group of 22-23 rowers that was here to compete is the result of the entire 38-member team we have that pushed each other throughout the season to be at our best, so I want to thank those where were not here,” [Williams Coach Kate] Maloney said. “And of course I want to thank our assistant coaches, our support staff, our trainers, and our parents for a great year. I’m just so proud of the 2016-17 Williams program.”

1) Congrats to Coach Maloney and her team on an impressive performance. I believe (clarifications welcome) that women’s crew gets very little support from Admissions each year. (Perhaps one tip a year? Perhaps only a protect or two?) It is quite likely that the academic performance of the women’s crew team as whole is indistinguishable from that of the rest of the women at Williams. And that is as it should be.

2) I love that there are 38 students on the team. Participation should be the highest value in Williams athletics. It is much better to have a crew team with 38 committed students who have an amazing experience (but who don’t win national championships) than to have a team of 15 that does. Kudos to Coach Maloney for being so welcoming to students who will never be good enough to row in a national championship. Their athletic experiences at Williams are every bit as important as those of the members of the V1 boat.

3) It is a shame that participation is not as valued as it used to be at Williams. Back in the day, there was a freshmen basketball team. There is not one now, despite the fact that there are a score or more of freshmen each year who played basketball in high school but who are not good enough to play for Coach App. Why not a team for them?

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