The Lady Rams ventured to San Diego for the Women’s Semifinals and Finals, May 24-27 following a very productive nationals training period. The regular Ram squad of Rachel Bryer and Hannah Scanlon in A was supplemented with Fiona Christie, Rachel’s former High School crew, in anticipation of light conditions in San Diego. Sarah Hermus, Marisa Decollibus and Courtney Bombardier were the B Division team.
The Semifinals featured breezier than normal San Diego conditions and the Rams were cruising. Rachel and Hannah won A division by 30 points and Sarah Hermus, Marisa Decollibus and Courtney Bombardier were a solid 4th in B for a big Ram win. BU was second demonstrating new prowess. Coast Guard won the Western semifinals by a large margin setting up a showdown between the two most dominant teams over the course of the year. Yale was 2nd and Brown 3rd. The NEISA teams were in control.
Day 1 of the Finals was a light and variable affair which was not exactly to the Rams liking. Brown got off to a blistering start with the Rams struggling. After 2 sets the Rams were out of the top 10, but Rachel and Hannah had won their last race. Race 5 produced Ram wins in both divisions and the ladies were right back in the thick of it. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep the pace and slipped back again with 6 double digit finishes in the next 10 races and ended the day tied for 5th, but many points away from a podium finish. Coast Guard was running away with the event with a 34 point lead over Brown. It was time to regroup.
The next day the Lady Rams opened with a 2, 4 in races 11 A and B and were on the right track. The Rams were consistent in both divisions through race 16 and steadily closed the gap to the podium. Going into the final set the Rams were in 3rd with a 9 point cushion over BU! 17 A added 1 more point to the lead, but races 17 and 18 B and 18 A all went badly and the Rams yielded the 3rd back to BU.
While it was a big disappointment to lose the podium position, the Lady Rams had much to be proud of. The 2015-16 year had been the best in Lady Ram history with 4 major wins, 2 seconds and 2 thirds in their 8 major events, plus the win in the Semifinals and 4th in the Finals. The entire team, with the exception of Courtney Bombardier, will be back next fall. So will most of the top performers on the other top NEISA teams, so it should be a terrific year.