Fordham Rowing wrapped up its fall season at the inaugural 1969 Cup at Casperson Rowing Center on Lake Mercer in Princeton Junction, NJ. The history behind the tournament is dense, but it was established this November to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of Women’s Varsity Athletics at the University of Delaware to honor the legacy of the Blue Hens. The field was small, consisting of multiple heats per event with only a few teams in each heat, and only one familiar A-10 face in Saint Joseph’s. There were five events, all of which the Rams participated in, with encouraging results at all levels of competition.
The day began with the Women’s Varsity Eight and Fordham was off to a strong start. The Rams placed second in the five-team field, eight middle seconds ahead of fellow A-10 opponent Saint Joseph’s with a time of 7:13.96, besting the 7:14.04 performance of the Hawks. Fordham fielded a second Varsity Eight team, one that struggled in the first heat, clocking in at 7:34.54, but keeping pace with other boats and again outperforming Saint Joseph’s, this time by over 10 seconds. A third Varsity Eight boat would enter the fray as well, finishing 4th in a six-team field with a time of 8:07.14, a strong showing from the third-level boat.
The success for the Varsity Eight boats would carry into the Varsity Four, where Fordham finished second with a time of 8:34.02. Senior Erika Selakowski felt as if all the boats on the day delivered strong performances but was especially impressed with the Varsity Four. The Freshman boat that has raced well all year long continued this trend on Saturday, finishing first of a four-team second heat in the Freshman Eight competition with a time of 8:33.89, edging out second-place Saint Joseph’s by about five seconds.
The Rams took to the water again on Saturday afternoon for a second round of competition. The first Fordham Eights boat would struggle to begin the action, finishing last of the six teams in the Grand Final competition. But the second Eights boat, participating in a Petite Final, rebounded from its slow start on the day, placing first with a time of 7:41.72, ahead of the Hawks. Finishing at 7:47.56, the final Varsity Eight boat placed fourth on the afternoon, again besting Saint Joseph’s by a few seconds, complimented by a second-place performance from the Varsity Four boat. The Freshman Eights boat was unable to replicate its first-round successes and ended up at the bottom of the Grand Final competition, but it did not distract from an otherwise successful day for Fordham’s newest rowers.
Overall, Drexel and Bucknell seemed to control the day, but Fordham was frequently near the top of the competition and saw strong performances from all of its boats, especially in their finishes above the only other A-10 boat in the field, Saint Joseph’s, on almost every occasion. Selakowski felt that all the boats performed well on the day, “and that it was a really strong way to end our fall season and it sets us up on the right foot to get start training for our spring season.”
The fall tune-up for the Rams has reached its conclusion, but the team will continue to improve as it prepares for A-10 competition in the spring season. For now, the Rams have a lot be pleased with and it will be very exciting to see what is to come in just a few months.