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Mon., Aug. 31
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Potsdam’s Liz Hafer aids successful William Smith College rowing season


GENEVA - Potsdam Central graduate Liz Hafer will look to help lead the William Smith College rowing team to a second straight Liberty League Championship this weekend.

A junior stroke for the varsity eight, Hafer has successfully followed up an outstanding sophomore season and will be heading to Saratoga Springs along with the rest of the crew this weekend as the third-ranked Herons look to defend their league title.

So far this spring, the Herons have won five of the six events they’ve competed in, their only loss coming against top-ranked Williams College earlier this month. They enter this weekend’s league championship having notched wins over 11th-ranked Washington College and 14th-ranked WPI at a meet in Worcester, Mass.

Hafer, a three-sport student-athlete at Potsdam Central where she played soccer, basketball and softball, began showing her aptititude for rowing right away as a freshman member of the novice eight at William Smith which earned Liberty League Novice Crew of the Year honors for the 2009-10 season. She earned a spot on the varsity eight as a sophomore and helped the Herons capture five Liberty League Boat of the Week awards. For her efforts on the league Crew of the Year, Hafer earned All-ECAC and All-NIRC honors and shared the S. Ford Weiskittel Most Valuable Oarswomen Award with senior teammate Aliria Pizzo. The Weiskittel Award is presented by William Smith College.

On the second day of competeing on Lake Quinsigmond in Worcester, the Herons’ varsity eight covered the 2,000-meter course in 6:37.2. With more favorable conditions and a more technically sound race, the Herons were more than 43 seconds faster than the previous day. Other members of the varsity eight include Kim Goral, Sinead Reilly, Lauren Blake-Whitney, Sarah Gordon, Katie Paige, Tess Wiggins, Alyssa Trebilcock and Jess Steketee.

“The team is really distinguishing itself by being able to immediately put into play changes from the day before,” William Smith Head Coach Sandra Chu said. “The 1V recovered really well from the mistakes it made yesterday to put together a race that was top-notch. It’s rewarding to see everything coming together.”

The Herons had earned Liberty League Boat of the Week status for seven straight weeks dating back to last fall but saw that streak end when St. Lawrence University claimed the honor this past week.

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