PENNSAUKEN, N.J. — Rhode Island's Varsity 4 boat won its race on Cooper River in to help the Rams defend their Atlantic 10 championship and earn the first automatic bid to the NCAA Championship in league history.
After the Varsity 8 and Second Varsity 8 both placed second, Rhode Island's team of Kaitlyn Rupert, Michelle Forte, Jess Bergen, Hannah Milam and cox Avery Cohen finished in 8:27.11, more than six seconds ahead of Temple. Massachusetts, which won the Second Varsity 8, was fourth in the Varsity 4 and finished second in the overall standings. George Washington, which won the Varsity 8 race, took third place.
The top six teams were tightly bunched, as Rhode Island finished with 49 points, just four points ahead of Massachusetts (45) and five ahead of the Colonials (44). Duquesne (32), Temple (31) and Dayton (30) were the next three spots in the standings.
For the Rams, it was the fourth A-10 title since 2008, and the second championship in a row. Rhody also won in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
With the team title, Rhode Island earned one of 11 automatic bids to the NCAA Championship. There are also 11 at-large bids this year, and the 22-team field will convene in Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis May 31 through June 2.
George Washington coach Eric Carcich was named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year for the second straight year.
Varsity 8 Final
George Washington 7:05.06
Rhode Island 7:09.23
St. Joseph's 7:31.88
Second Varsity 8 Final
Rhode Island 7:25.35
George Washington 7:34.11
Varsity 4 Final
Rhode Island 8:27.11
George Washington 8:46.53