While nearly three inches of rain fell in the Pennsauken, N.J. area on Saturday, and winds gusted over 20 miles per hour, the Massachusetts women’s rowing team managed to battle through the elements to finish in a three-way tie for first at the Atlantic 10 Championships. After tiebreakers were taken into account, the team earned a second-place finish in the competition.
“I think we had a tremendous effort,” said UMass coach Jim Dietz. “[The weather’s] something that ravaged the whole East Coast. Everybody had problems, no matter where you were racing it was tough. It’s an outdoor sport, you’ve got to suck it up.”
After the final race of the competition, UMass, St. Joseph’s and Rhode Island had each earned 45 points. The tie was broken and the champion was determined according to the order of finish in the Varsity Eight Final.
Dayton finished first in said race with a time of 7:52.20, but could not make the podium at the end of the day. With the second-place finish and a time of 8:07.95, the Hawks were crowned A-10 champions, while UMass (8:07.95) took second and Rhode Island (8:09.26) settled for third.
In their preliminary heat, the Minutewomen’s Varsity Eight team came in second place with a time of 08:29.80, a few seconds behind SJU, who completed the course in 08:23.48.
“The varsity effort was incredible,” said Dietz. “For them to rally and go as fast as they did, it’s just positive, positive, positive. They were probably the youngest varsity out there, as far as underclassmen in the boat, so the future’s really looking positive for us.”
UMass’ Second Varsity Eight finished second in its final, posting a time of 8:38.37. The winner, Rhode Island, came across a few seconds earlier, in 08:32.01.
The Varsity Four team easily raced past the competition in their preliminary heat, blasting past the field by over eight seconds. They slipped past the line in 9:33.39. The victors of the other preliminary heat, URI, managed to take control in the final, however, and earn the victory. The Rams finished in 9:44.16, while the Minutewomen managed a second-place finish in 09:54.16.
UMass will next take to the water on Saturday, when it’ll face off with Holy Cross on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. Again, it will be another early start, as the competition will begin at 8 a.m.
Ben Lambert can be reached at email@example.com..