The backbone of the women’s rowing team thus far has been its Varsity 8 boats. Rowers in these boats have secured a plethora of first place finishes in the opening two meets of the spring season. Last weekend’s Knecht Cup in West Windsor Township, New Jersey was no different, with the first Varsity 8 taking the third final and the second securing the petite final.
The Varsity 8’s third place finish in the first heat, ahead of SMU and Marist and behind Boston University and Old Dominion, was a good result, but not outstanding. Fortunately for the Rams, the top three in each heat qualified for the semi-finals. Fordham finished sixth in the semis, in front of West Virginia and behind SMU, Drexel, Kansas, Miami and Wisconsin, registering a time of 6:59.70. This result placed Fordham in the third final, essentially the best of the teams that did not advance to the final stage. The Rams were able to end their day on a positive note, dominating the third final with a time of 6:57.07 on their way to a first place finish. The Rams finished a full five seconds ahead of runner-up Nova Southeastern, followed by Delaware, SMU, Duquesne and Connecticut.
The Second Varsity 8’s heat finish was also middling, but just enough to survive and advance. Finishing the course in 7:39.00, the Rams got past Delaware and Massachusetts and finished behind Boston College, Connecticut and Drexel. This boat fared better in the semis rowing past Drexel, Old Dominion and Miami in 7:03.45 en route to a third place finish. The finish qualified Fordham for the petite final, the second highest final behind the grand final and ahead of the third. The Rams rose to the occasion in the final, finishing with their best time of the day by eight seconds to secure yet another first place finish at 6:55.99. The other finishers were Drexel, Temple, West Virginia, Boston University and Alabama, in that order.
Several other Fordham boats raced in the event. The Novice 4 started things off, just missing out on qualifying for the semifinals in the first heat. Fordham finished fourth in 9:44.32 in front of NYU and Stockton. Unfortunately for the Rams, only the top three advanced to the semis, and Buffalo, New Hampshire and Massachusetts moved on.
A pair of Varsity 4 boats raced as well. In the main Varsity 4, the Fordham boat finished dead last at 8:34.78, behind first-place Old Dominion, Marist B, Massachusetts B, Miami C and West Virginia. The Second Varsity 4 unit finished a place better when they took fifth ahead of Drexel and behind Holy Cross, Marist, Alabama A and top finisher Kansas.
Finally, the Novice 8 garnered another last place finish for the Rams. They finished with a time of 9:26.12, way behind next-best Pittsburg at 8:35.65 and were also surpassed by Kansas, Delaware and the Army West Point Black Knights.
Several men’s boats raced for the club team, highlighted by Fordham A and B taking first and second in the Men’s Club 4 final, respectively.
The next stop for the Rams is the City of Brotherly Love. The team will head to Philadelphia on Saturday to compete in the Kerr Cup on the Schuykill River.