Iona rowing takes home three wins at spring Metropolitan championships

Robert Hughes, Assistant Sports Editor

The Iona men’s and women’s rowing programs competed in the Spring Metropolitan Championships at Glen Island Park on April 22. At the 57th running of the Spring Metropolitan Championships, 268 participants in 58 crews spanned 14 events, according to the Iona Athletics website. Iona won three total events and took home bronze in a fourth.  

The women’s varsity double took first place in their event after finishing with a time of 7:58.7, just 1.3 seconds ahead of Long Island University’s 8:00.0 flat. Dominican University ended up behind the two with a time of 8:51.4.  

The women’s varsity eight also turned in a medal-winning performance with a third-place finish behind Fordham University and Sacred Heart University. Iona’s time was clocked at 7:07.5 in this event, a healthy 32 seconds ahead of fourth-place finisher Manhattan College. In the Heat 2 race, the women’s varsity four secured a spot in second place behind Fordham, while the novice four squad ended up in third at the same event.  

As for the men’s varsity eight, they were able to complete a second half comeback over Fordham University to win their third consecutive championship at this regatta. With this victory, the men’s varsity eight won its 12th overall Sulger Cup championship in program history and third in a row.  

Iona men’s lightweight four similarly won gold in their portion, logging a convincing time of 4:59.3 in a 30.2 second margin victory over Long Island University.  

In total, the men’s team finished second in points and the women’s finished third. The Gaels’ program was overall runner-up to Fordham University for the Brother O’Hare team points trophy.  

The conditions of this regatta were marked with 18 mph NE winds with gusts exceeding 30 mph. This made the row back to land quite treacherous, forcing the varsity four finals to be conducted over 1,500 meters, and the finals for novice and varsity pair and double to be cancelled. The varsity eight final was still approved for the regular 2,000-meter length, however.  

John and Melissa Boyd, head coach for the women’s and men’s programs, respectively, announced that the regatta will be named the Novak Memorial Metropolitan Championship going forward. This is to honor Brother Robert Novak, the former faculty moderator of Iona’s rowing teams, who passed away last November.  

The Gaels will next hit the road on May 6 for the New York State Collegiate Championships at Fish Creek in Saratoga Springs.