Fall Preview: Rowing Looks to Reach Top of Atlantic 10


Expectations are lofty for Fordham Rowing after last year's impressive performances. (Courtesy of Row2k)

By Jimmy Sullivan

It may have taken longer than anticipated, but Fordham Rowing showed what it was capable of as the 2018–19 season neared its conclusion.
The truest indicator of this performance was a share of a third-place showing at the Atlantic 10 Championships in May. After the regatta was completed, three Rams—­­­seniors Erin Parker and Caroline Roncinske, along with current junior Aleksa Bjornson—were named to the all-Atlantic 10 team.

“We had a rough start to the beginning of the season but we managed to come together and prove to ourselves what we are capable of as a team,” Bjornson said.

In 2019-20, the team will look to rebound after losing Parker and Roncinske, two of its main leaders. Other losses to graduation include Noelle Chaney, Danielle Kosman, Cynthia Luz, Emma Spoldi, Erin Stepka and Sarah White. The team, led by 28th-year head coach Ted Bonanno, will look to offset these losses with a fresh batch of recruits and improvement from athletes on the current roster.

Consistency was another issue for the team last year, and one that the Rams will have to correct if they want to become the class of the Atlantic 10. Bonanno has had experience with nationally-regarded team; according to Fordham Athletics, Bonanno’s crews have won a combined 17 national championships.

“Improving consistency will be our main focus; aiming to start strong and end strong,” Bjornson says. “Having high expectations for ourselves combined with a large incoming class of freshmen recruits will hopefully lead to strong finishes at our fall regattas.”

“In terms of improving, our key element is for all our rowers to continue to develop both technically and physically,” head coach Ted Bonanno said. “Last year more than half our squad did but some key rowers did not, mainly due to injuries. We look forward to keeping everyone healthy and hopefully free from injury.”

In terms of that development from last season, Bonanno cited senior Erika Selakowski, sophomore Lizzie Kerrigan, senior Brikena Prendaj, junior Anna Grace Cole and Elizabeth Berejka as rowers who made significant strides over the course of the season.

“Our goals for this season are lofty,” Bonanno says. After finishing third in the A-10 Conference last season, we are looking to move up and challenge for the championship.”

Fordham had an extremely successful season last year, but the Rams believe they are capable of achieving even more. If they are able to start this season as well as they finished last year, chances are they’ll be right.