Rowing Competes In Philadelphia


The team’s second regatta was on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, racing with two eights and a four, (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

The Fordham rowing team returned to the water last Saturday in its second regatta of the season. The Rams contended at the 2021 Jesuit Invitational on the Schuylkill River, just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on an unfortunately cold and cloudy day. The Rams competed against fellow Jesuit schools Saint Joseph’s University and Loyola University Maryland. The fourth and final entry into the invitational was fellow Atlantic 10 conference competitor La Salle University. 

Three boats represented Fordham in the event: Varsity Four, Second Varsity Eight and Varsity Eight, with the Varsity Four placing the best out of the three. The Varsity Four took the gold with significant leads over Saint Joseph’s and both Loyola entries. In the Second Varsity Eight, Fordham trailed behind Saint Joseph’s yet finished ahead of Loyola’s boat. For the last and most important race of the day, the Fordham Varsity Eight placed third with a time of 7:17.1 across 2000 meters, in front of Loyola but behind Saint Joseph’s and La Salle.

By the time the sun had set, it felt as if Saint Joseph’s had dominated much of the day, placing first in two out of three races, and it was a disappointing day on the river for the Fordham crew team. 

However, the team faced a variety of challenges in the weeks leading up to the race. Not only was the program forced to pause following a possible COVID-19 outbreak, but the team had significant changes in the coaching staff. For over 30 years, the team had been led by Ted Bonanno, who retired following the abrupt conclusion of the 2019-2020 season. Former assistant coach Jenn Thomas took over the helm and was set to oversee the team for the 2020-21 season. However, about two weeks ago, former novice coach, Katarina Francis, stepped up as interim head coach of the entire program.

With the combination of these sudden coaching changes and extended period of inactivity leaving only approximately a week of somewhat sufficient preparation time, it is not all that surprising that the Fordham team saw some disappointment on the water. The more positive side is that once the natural transition period that comes with a new coach is over and the team has a normal training schedule again, their preparation can be more focused and their performance more successful. 

The Rams get back on the water on Saturday, May 1, when they travel to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, to compete in the Bucknell Invitational.

Competing boats:

Varsity Four: Kylie Elwood (coxswain), Caitlin Boyle (stroke), Debra Chieco, Tierney Carlin, Anya Casey (bow)

Second Varsity Eight: Stefania Rocca (coxswain), Samantha Santiago (stroke), Danielle Moynihan, Jamie Forbes, Anna Grace Cole, Erika Selakowski, Emma Lipinski, Catherine Samia, Maren Geier (bow).

Varsity Eight: Alex Levy (coxswain), Danae Ohresser-Joumard (stroke), Emily Buchholz, Sophia Singh, Lila Evans, Hanna Decker, Aleksa Bjornson, Lizzie Kerrigan, Margarita McCoy (bow).