It was one meet in the books and two gold finishes for the rowing team. In their first appearance of the spring season in the 34th annual Murphy Cup Regatta on Saturday, the Women’s Varsity 8 and Men’s Lightweight 4 took home the gold. That coupled with several other solid performances, made for the quite the optimistic debut in Philadelphia.
The Varsity 8 was utterly dominant all day long. They took their heat with a time of 6:42.67, nearly seven seconds faster than second place finisher Holy Cross and way ahead of Lehigh, Hamilton and La Salle.
Competition was much fiercer in the Grand Final in the form of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, winners of the fourth heat with a time only a second slower than that of the Rams. The two boats were neck and neck all the way to the finish line, but Fordham was able to outlast the Scarlet Knights by 2.18 seconds for a final course time of 6:43.92. Following Rutgers were Bates, Temple, Navy and Drexel, with none really posing a threat to the first and second place finishers.
The Rams qualified for one other Grand Final in the Junior Varsity 8. Fordham easily coasted past Connecticut, Villanova, Buffalo B and Delaware B in the first heat, posting a 6:56.31 time. Working out of lane 3, the Rams placed fourth in the final in 7:02.64, ahead of George Washington by 11 tenths of a second. Fordham could not get past St. Joseph’s, Temple and Navy A, who raced the two fastest times in the Junior Varsity in their heat and gold finish.
Two Ram boats participated in the Varsity 4 with Fordham A taking third in Heat 4, in front of Buffalo and Lehigh B and behind Temple A and La Salle A. Fordham B did not fare as well, taking last in Heat 5, finishing a full eight seconds behind the next best La Salle B.
Finally in Novice 8 action, the Fordham boat finished in the fifth and final spot in Heat 1, reaching the finish in 8:10.47.
In men’s action, the men’s lightweight 4 A squad were the stars of the day, blowing past NY Maritime, Temple, La Salle and Fordham B in 6:54.50, close to seven seconds ahead of Maritime. The only other male event was the Varsity 4 with the Rams garnering a third place finish in the first heat, finishing in front of Loyola A and Drexel for a time of 6:59.15. Virginia B and Colgate took the top spots, separated by just seven tenths of a second.
With two golds in their back pocket, Fordham travels to sunny San Diego, California this weekend to take part in the San Diego Crew Classic on April 2 and 3.