The University of Rhode Island women’s rowing team competed in Boston, Massachusetts this past Saturday earning a first place finish by sweeping the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Coast Guard for their first meet of the spring season.  

In the first race of the day the varsity 8+ team, seniors Dana Holland, Kiana Anderson and Kelsey Maymon,  juniors Meghan Ellis, Courtney Harrington and Lucy Moyes, and sophomores Katie Shattuck, Emily Ali and Erika Pena finished in first place just one second before the MIT boat crossed the finish line. The Rams finished with a time of 6:47.720 with MIT trailing in a close second with 6:48.650, and the Coast Guard well behind in third with a time of 7:33.690.

The Rams increased their margin of  victory in the second varsity 8+ race of the day. The winning team was comprised of senior Danielle Wolf, junior cox Tory Bauer, sophomores Mekenzie Mattheson, Allie Reilly and Maddie Van Ummersen, and freshmen Emily Winslow, Erin Sweeney, Kelsey Williams and Brooke McMahon. URI clocked in with a time of 6:55.730, with MIT finishing at 7:12.830, and Coast Guard coming in at 7:34.060.

In the third race of the afternoon, the varsity 4+ team took the waters and completed the trifecta with their group consisting of juniors Lauren Smith and Chandler Fisher, and sophomore Sage Iacovazzi and cox Karen Petrik, and freshman Ida Heggtveit. The team earned their first place finish with a dominant effort that was over 10 seconds faster than two second and third place MIT boats and fourth-place Coast Guard.

Head Coach Shelagh Donohoe was content with her team’s performances on Saturday, but knows that her young team can be even better as the spring season progresses.

“I think it was a good first race there are definitely things we can improve on, but it was nice to get on the course with a very young team,” Donohoe said. “So the more races we have the better we will be.”

The Rams will compete next on Sunday at the Doc Hosea Invitational in Camden, New Jersey. Donohoe expects her team to continue steadily improving, as they will face higher levels of competition the rest of the way.

“The competition coming up is definitely stronger, we have nine programs we will be facing with a lot of those teams having reached NCAA’s,” Donohoe said. “Teams like Syracuse, Northeastern, Boston University, UMass-which is obviously our Atlantic 10 competition, Rutgers and Minnesota. So we have teams from different regions and we will face people who regularly compete in the NCAA’s. We are going to have to race better and harder to be in it.”

The URI crew club also had a successful weekend in their races on the Schuykill River in Philadelphia. The team faced a tough slate of competition that consisted of Drexel University, University of Virginia, Bucknell University and the University of Temple. The Men’s Novice 8 squad made it to the grand final, earning a fifth place finish, a result matched by the Men’s JV 8 boat as well. Men’s Varsity finished just a second behind  Holy Cross College and four seconds off the pace of top-ranked Virginia. The Varsity 8 boat had a bitter pill to swallow when they missed the grand final by one second, but earned a third place finish in the petite finals with an impressive time of 5:54. The third Varsity 8 boat was unable to advance to the finals but took fourth place in the heats. Crew will be back in action on Sunday to compete in the Patriot Cup in Lowell, Massachusetts.