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The Dartmouth
June 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Dartmouth Women’s Rowing ends the season sixth at Ivy League Championship

The women’s varsity boat placed sixth overall out of eight varsity boats.


On May 18 and 19, the women’s rowing team completed the final races of the season at the annual Ivy League Championship in Pennsauken, N.J. Dartmouth women’s rowing sent six boats to the Championship — three fours and three eights — with the first eight boat qualifying for the grand final and placing sixth overall.  

Dartmouth picked up several other strong finishes at other races over the weekend. Dartmouth’s third varsity four came in sixth overall and, in a four and eight petite final, Dartmouth beat out Cornell to claim victory.

Captain Katherine Figura ’24 explained that the main goal going into the championship was to qualify for the final. 

“I think the biggest goal was to get boats into the grand final as much as possible, which our [varsity eight] did, which was really big,” Figura said. “It was a good first step for the years to come. Overall though, I believe we left on a high note.”

Dartmouth’s varsity eight boat bested Harvard University’s crew by seven seconds in the heat race to qualify for the grand final, where they raced against four of the top 10 nationally-ranked boats, including fourth-ranked Princeton University.

“For my sophomore and junior year, we did not make it to the grand final, so to do it this year was super awesome,” rower Jenna Martin ’24 said.

Head coach John Graves said the team’s championship performance was “a really good cap” on the season. 

“To me, it’s a bit of an ellipsis continuing on into next year,” Graves said. “I’m really excited to see the team just keep pushing forward and keep moving up to the standard of the rest of the Ivy League.” 

Graves, who became head coach of the women’s rowing program in the summer of 2023, said he has sought to build up the team to compete with the top-ranked national crews — many of which are also part of the Ivy League. 

Historically, the Ivy League has been one of the strongest women’s rowing leagues in the country, having produced eight national champion boats in the past 25 years. 

“I think it’s a privilege to be in this league and get to race against some of the best teams in the country,” Graves said.

Part of Graves’s mission has been to ensure that the joy of competition remains strong among the team, he said. 

“Another thing [this year] was just trying to instill [the] love of the racing part of it,” Graves said. “I thought this weekend was another good example of them as a team just really enjoying lining up next to these other teams and having fun racing and pushing the crews around them.”

Figura noted a “shift in the culture” under Graves. 

“We try to show up with intent and then also just have fun,” she said. “We all thought that if you put everything out there, and you get last, but you had fun doing it, you got the most out of it.” 

Martin reflected that rowing “has been one of the most important parts of [her] Dartmouth career.”

“It is super unique to have such a big team that is so close,” Martin said. “We have a very special experience, being on this team.”