On April 22, the women’s rowing team swept all four races against the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That day, the team also celebrated Senior Day in honor of the Class of 2023.
The victories this weekend came after the team failed to secure any wins from the Ivy Invite the previous weekend.
The meet was hosted at Lake Morey in Fairlee, Vermont, by the Big Green and was followed by races from the Dartmouth men’s heavyweight rowing team.
The Varsity Eight had the first win of the day, beating MIT by nearly six seconds with a time of 6:48.63. Next, the Second Varsity Eight posted a ten-second win with a time of 7:07.48, and Dartmouth’s Varsity Four also finished first at 8:29.89. The biggest win of the day came from the Third Varsity Eight, which had an impressive 30-second win over UMass in 7:30.93.
Grace McInerney ’25, coxswain of the Varsity Eight, noted that the team had a strong start to their race.
“In the first 400 meters of the race, we were probably about three quarters of a boat length up on UMass and MIT,” McInerney said. ”Then we just set a really solid base, and just tried to open up the margin.”
Members of the team also highlighted the importance of Senior Day and shared their gratitude for the ’23s. Olivia Chin ’25 explained how the seniors have been instrumental in shaping the team’s culture of camaraderie.
“As someone who walked on to the team, they played a really big role in making me feel welcomed and a part of the community, so I'm super grateful to have them as my leaders this year,” Chin said. “They've definitely paved the way and took us under their wing.”
During the race, McInerney said that not only was she cheering on the ’23s as coxswain, but that the whole team cheered for the seniors from the sidelines.
“We were all very vocal about supporting the seniors during the race,” McInerney said. “Everyone [was] calling out the seniors, which I think was motivating, and it felt like just overall a really fun race.”
Justine McGuire ’23 noted the excitement of sweeping the races and the benefits of the meet’s location so close to campus.
“Being able to pull off victories in all races was such an amazing experience,” McGuire said. “Having support from family members, friends, the men’s heavyweight team and people from campus was incredible for everyone.”
Captain Jessie Duckworth ’23 said that the seniors on the team have endured various challenges — including adjusting to coaching changes and not being able to compete throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Ducksworth added that these hardships ultimately brought the ‘23s closer to one another as they progressed throughout their collegiate rowing career.
“I've met some incredible people on this team who will be my support system for the rest of my life,” Duckworth said. “I think I would not be the same person I am today without those learning experiences.”
McGuire stressed that the strong support from her classmates on the team helped her stay committed to rowing the team despite two potentially career-ending injuries.
The team will next compete at the Women’s Eastern Sprints Invitational on April 30 at Lake Quinsigamond. The regular season will conclude on May 14 with the Ivy League Championship, also at Lake Quinsigamond.
“Each day that we shove from the dock, we are taking strokes that are only making us stronger,” McGuire said. “This past weekend showed us that we are capable of winning as long as we build off previous races and rely on each other.”