Washington Also Places 7th at MAISA Spring Open
GENEVA, NY -- The Washington College sailing team qualified for the first round of the ICSA Co-Ed Dinghy National Championships for the fifth consecutive year by finishing seventh of 18 teams at the America Trophy - the MAISA Spring Co-Ed Dinghy Championships - this weekend at Hobart/William Smith. Washington also finished seventh of 16 teams at the MAISA Spring Open, hosted by Navy, this weekend.
Washington got a big performance in B Division from sophomore skipper Sam Fitzgerald (Fairfield, CT/Greens Farms Academy) and junior crew Matt Lawler (Alexandria, VA/Christchurch School), who finished third, finishing in the top five in nine of the 10 B Division races. Their finishes race-by-race were first, 13th, third, fifth, third, third, second, fifth, fifth, and fifth. In A Division, senior skipper Mike Whitford (Chicago, IL/Francis W. Parker School) and freshman crew Dale Strong (Severna Park, MD/Gunston Day School) placed ninth, peaking with a second-place finish in the seventh A Division race.
The first round of the ICSA Co-Ed Dinghy National Championships will be held May 12th and 13th at Navy. The top eight teams from this weekend's regatta qualified for the first round. In order, they were: fourth-ranked Georgetown, 11th-ranked St. Mary's, seventh-ranked Hobart/William Smith, 13th-ranked Navy, 14th-ranked Old Dominion, 20th-ranked New York Maritime, Washington, and Cornell. Four races in A division and two in B Division sailed on Saturday; the remaining races sailed on Sunday.
At the MAISA Spring Open, junior Sam Bedinger (Richmond, VA/St. Christopher's) skippered Washington to a ninth-place finish in A Division. Sophomore Jiwoo Lee (Huntington Station, NY/Walt Whitman) was Bedinger's crew for the first 12 A Division races, while freshman Blair Towers (Goochland, VA/St. Anne's-Belfield) was the crew for the final four A Division races. Freshman skipper Mackenzie Needham (Shelter Island, NY/Shelter Island) drove Washington to a seventh-place finish in B Division. Sophomore crew Erin McAuliffe (Germantown, MD/Good Counsel) served as Needham's crew for the first 12 races in B Division, while junior Maggie Smith (Annapolis, MD/Garrison Forest) made her collegiate debut by serving as crew in the final four B Division races. Needham and McAuliffe won the 11th B Division race, while Needham and Smith won the 15th B Division race.
Fourteenth-ranked Old Dominion won the MAISA Spring Open, while 13th-ranked Navy was second and 11th-ranked St. Mary's was third. Twelve races in each division sailed on Saturday in a westerly breeze of 5-10 knots. The remaining four races in each division were completed Sunday morning in a 7-10 knot southerly.
The Washington College sailing team returns to action next weekend at the Admiral's Cup, hosted by Merchant Marine and at the MAISA Women's Spring Championships, hosted by Old Dominion.