Last year’s Rhode Island women’s rowing team won more races than any school at the Atlantic 10 Championship. Unfortunately, their overall point total was one shy of Massachusetts, so the Minutewomen took home the Atlantic 10 crown.
Despite earning Coach of the Year honors in her first year at the helm, Shelagh Donohoe and her team were not satisfied.
This spring, the Rhody rowers returned to Cooper River Park in Pennsauken, N.J. Several hours later, the Rams left the Garden State with their first-ever Atlantic 10 Championship, winning the Varsity 8, Varsity 4, and the Lightweight 4 while cruising past second-place UMass, 135-119.
“This caps a tremendous season for our team,” said Donohoe, who garnered A-10 Coach of the Year honors for the second consecutive season.
The Rams’ Varsity 8 boat, which placed first with a time of 7:09.0, finished more than two seconds ahead of second-place Saint Joseph’s to earn 40 points. In the Varsity 4 race, the Rams recorded a time of 8:24.2, which was more than 20 seconds ahead of second-place UMass and good for 20 points. The Lightweight 4 boat, meanwhile, finished with a time of 8:05.7 to earn another 10 points.
In the 2nd Varsity 8 Grand Final, the Rams finished with a time of 7:15.3, which placed them second and gave them 27 points. URI also took another eight points with a second-place finish in the 2nd Novice 8 Grand Final (7:56.8).
Rhode Island’s third-place finish in the Novice 8 Grand Final (7:35.5) was good for 16 points while fourth-place finishes in both the Lightweight 8 Grand Final (8:26.0) and the Quad Grand Final (8:49.3) were worth seven points each.
While the Rams did not advance to the NCAA Tournament, they set a new standard for future URI rowing teams.
The following week, seniors Jill Brockmann, Tamara Burman, Ashley Coughlin, Tara Dorsey, Kathleen Hinkel, Beth McArdle, Whitney Phaup, Linnea Rowse, Lucy Sumners, and Amy VanRensburg were honored at the team’s final home meet.