Fordham Women’s Rowing set sail on the 2019–2020 season this past Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Head of the Housatonic at the New Haven Rowing Club in Connecticut. Following some early struggles, Fordham delivered a successful 2018–2019 season, capped off by a third-place finish at the Atlantic 10 Championships, and the Rams have high expectations for this upcoming season. There were some noticeable losses to the team in many seniors, two of whom (Erin Parker and Caroline Roncinske) received all-Atlantic 10 honors this past season. However, tremendous talent remains along with a selection of freshmen and certain improvement from the more-experienced rowers on the roster, bringing high hopes for an A-10 Championship.
The Rams look to tell a different story in the first few competitions of this season, hoping for a better, more consistent start than last year. The first task was on Saturday. The road leading up to this past weekend was a difficult one, with weather difficulties keeping the Rams out of the water and unable to practice as much as they hoped. Saturday, however, was far different.
It was a gorgeous afternoon with perfect racing conditions, a welcome sight for the team. The effects of the weather were noticeable, with a positive attitude among the team that would translate into the competition. In the opener, the Fordham Collegiate Novice 8 consisting of freshmen worked toward an easy victory, defeating runner-up Wellesley by over a minute and finishing in 17:18:9 ahead of Wellesley’s 18:29:0. In the Collegiate Varsity 8 event, the Rams sent out two boats, with the A shell placing 18th with a time of 15:42:3 and the B shell finishing 27th at 16:39:4. The performance of the A shell positioned Fordham just over three seconds ahead of fellow A-10 competitor UMass, a key indicator in the conference race moving forward. Fordham sent two teams into the women’s collegiate 4 as well, with the A shell placing 10th and the B shell 13th, with times of 17:56:9 and 19:55:0, respectively. The Rams look to remain positive, pleased with the strong performance from the freshmen and the overall speed of the boats in the fall’s first competition.
Fordham will look to build upon the opener this upcoming weekend on the 19th and 20th at the Head of the Charles in Cambridge, MA. Similarly to last season, it will be a crowded field in Massachusetts, and the Rams will hope to make their mark in one of the primary tune-ups for the spring season. With the initial successes in Connecticut, junior Estephanie Peralta said the team “can only go up from here!”