The University of Rhode Island men’s rowing team captured three medals, a gold, silver and bronze, at the Knecht Cup at Mercer Lake in West Windsor Township, New Jersey, over the weekend.
Senior rower Peter Collins, who has been on the team for three seasons, called the meet “one of our most successful races.” The squad failed to medal at the Knecht Cup last season.
The Varsity 4 boat, led by senior captain Cody McMillian and sophomore Steve O’Brien, brought home gold for Rhode Island. The Rams beat out Bowdoin, Colgate, George Mason, New York Maritime and Lehigh to claim first place. Bowdoin, which served as some of the Rams’ toughest competition, grabbed silver after finishing behind Rhode Island by just more than one second.
“We’re out practicing twice a day, six days a week, since September, so we’ve been at it for months now,” O’Brien said. “This is the hard work paying off, finally.”
The Rams’ Second Varsity 4 boat propelled them to a bronze medal, finishing eight seconds behind first-place George Mason and five seconds in back of second-place Mercyhurst. Drexel beat out Rhode Island by nearly three full seconds for first place in the Novice 4 competition, but the Rams still took home silver in the event with a time of 7:09.02.
The club will participate next in the New England Championship on May 2 before departing for the American Collegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta starting May 23 in Gainesville, Georgia.
The Novice 4 boat, which featured O’Brien, was the only boat to get up on the podium at the New England Championship last season.
“I don’t want to jinx anything,” McMillian said of how many boats he believes will medal at New Englands. “I think we have a good shot to have a strong showing in all the races that we have, but anything can happen. I don’t expect anything, I just try to go and lay down the best race I can.”