Rowing falls to nationally-acclaimed Dartmouth before blowing past Fordham

The University of Rhode Island rowing team traveled to Fairlee, Vermont on Saturday to compete against Dartmouth College and Fordham University.

URI finished first in four of the nine racing events against the other two teams in the three Varsity 8+ boats and the two Varsity 4+ boats. In the First Varsity 8+ morning race, Dartmouth finished with a time of 7:07, followed by Rhode Island with a time of 7:10.8. In the Second Varsity 8+ morning race, Rhode Island again raced against Dartmouth.

“We had a strong start,” third-year coxswain and team captain Ellie McGee said. “We were pretty dead even with them, and then had a really strong sprint, and were kind of able to make up a little bit of the time that we lost over the middle part of the race.”

Rhode Island placed second at 7:17.20 and Dartmouth finished first at 7:15.53 in the Second Varsity 8+, which McGee coxed.

“We stayed right with them, and we were really happy with the fact that we were only two seconds behind,” McGee said.

In the First Varsity 4+ morning race, Dartmouth placed first against URI with a time of 8:14.4, while URI had a time of 8:27.1. Rhode Island then placed third with 8:46.3 in the Second Varsity 4+ morning session. Dartmouth had a first-place time of 8:33.7 in this race, while Dartmouth’s B boat punched in a second-place time of 8:45.2. For the Third Varsity 8+ morning session, Dartmouth crossed the finish line first with a time of 7:44.5, with URI coming in second in 8:03.4.

In the First Varsity 8+ afternoon session, after a weather change, Rhode Island went against Fordham and came in first with a time of 6:38.5, while Fordham placed second in 6:48.2. URI placed first over Fordham once again in the Second Varsity 8+ afternoon session at 6:53.4, with the latter finishing in second with a time of 7:02.5. Rhode Island was first with a time of 7:46.6 in the First Varsity 4+ afternoon session, followed by Fordham at 7:49.3. URI’s Second Varsity 4+ boat came in third at 7:55.8.

Lastly, the Third Varsity 8+ afternoon session saw Rhode Island outlast Fordham for first place with a time of 7:20.9. Fordham finished in 7:24.2 for second place.

“We had a clean sweep across Fordham for most of our boats, which was great,” McGee said.

Both the morning and afternoon Varsity 4+ and 8+ sessions went well, URI Head Coach Shelagh Donohoe said. Donohoe and McGee described dealing with a headwind in the morning sessions, and in the second races the wind direction changed, causing a tail current to occur.

“I think in the morning race they were able to go out there and we were very close,” Donohoe said. “It was a tight race the whole way down and they showed great composure, and we were just a little shy getting across the line first.”

Donohoe continued to describe how the boats rowed differently depending on the wind they were experiencing.

“But again, they were very composed, and they held themselves to a high standard and I think they did a good job in the tail wind,“ said Donohoe.

While URI experienced head and tail winds during the races, it was a positive experience that allowed the Rams to showcase their speeds and prepare them since the team won’t know what the weather conditions will be during the championship, McGee said.

Next up, URI will head to Worcester, Massachusetts, on May 5 to compete in the Eastern Sprints, in their final race before the Atlantic 10 Championships.