Before this season, every Atlantic 10 Women’s Rowing Championship has ended the same way: Massachusetts in first, GW in second.
At Saturday’s A-10 race on Cooper River in New Jersey, the Colonials were hoping the roles would be reversed – but they did not count on Rhode Island to knock them into third. Massachusetts won the championship for the seventh straight year, and Rhode Island took second.
Rhode Island’s large squad allowed it to enter seven races, while GW entered four, giving the Rams more opportunities to gain points. Still, GW co-captain Katy Gore said her team was shocked by the Rams.
“I think the team might have overlooked Rhode Island as a legitimate contender,” Gore said.
UMass took five of its eight races for a team total of 44 points. Rhode Island grabbed 34 points while GW took 23 points. Dayton (22 points), Fordham (16 points) and St. Joseph’s (15 points) rounded out the field.
GW finished fourth in the varsity eight final, the race worth the most points, at almost 15 seconds behind first-place UMass. The win was revenge for UMass, which fell to GW for the first time in the event last year. Coxswain Liz Bissinger said her boat was hurt by a bad start.
“We had a disadvantage right from the word ‘go,'” she said.
GW’s only gold medal came in the novice eight-B final, finishing three seconds ahead of second place UMass (8:12.25).
The men also competed this weekend in the A-10 Men’s Invitational Regatta, winning its varsity eight and novice eight races. The win was GW’s first-ever win in the heavyweight novice eight race.
GW’s varsity eight (14-14) overcame season-long injuries and last-minute substitutions to upset favorite UMass (21-2). The Colonials led the entire race and clocked a record 5.43.7 seconds on the course. UMass finished a boat length behind in second place. Rhode Island (5-3) was third.