By Peter Valentino
As the Fordham women’s rowing team approaches its first spring meet in late March, the rowers look to improve off of a solid fall season. After placing around the middle of the pack in the first three events in Connecticut, Boston and Philadelphia, the team won six out of seven races against five competing tri-state area schools in the Fall Metropolitan Championships in Pelham. With these finishes, head coach Ted Bonanno stressed the importance of these competitive fall regattas.
“Our overall team depth is improved with all four varsity eights demonstrating good speed over 5-6 kilometer racing in practice and all shells racing well throughout the fall, including a sweep of all varsity events at our last regatta,” said Bonanno. He also credited senior captains Maura O’Donnell and coxswain Jackie Ramos and their leadership for the team’s success.
The team had its annual trip to Miami over winter break, making it the 26th consecutive year of the excursion. While the rowers got away from the cold and enjoyed the vacation and bonding time, they also practiced long distance rowing in the warm Florida waters. Bananno said that it was a very successful outing, and that there were many technical improvements from several of the rowers in all four boats.
O’Donnell expressed confidence that the extra hours in the water due to the warm winter will aid them come the spring. “We knew that returning to campus for the spring semester might start with indoor training, so we tried to mix some long distance rowing with high intensity race pieces while in Florida,” she said. “However, upon returning to campus, we were pleasantly surprised by the above-freezing temperatures that have allowed us to practice on the water.”
The spring rowing season begins with the Murphy Cup in Philadelphia on the Saturday, March 25.
Going into this season, O’Donnell stressed the importance of remaining in a racing mindset. “We need to remain focused on what we want to achieve in the spring and not go through the motions at practice,” she said.
For Coach Bonanno, he hopes that if they are able to improve this season, they’ll be able to peak at the A-10s. “Our hope is to have all our shells at their best at that point.”