By Jordan Malkin
KINGSTON, R.I. – Rhode Island senior Allie Reilly has gone from walk-on to world record holder.
Reilly, a North Kingstown native who walked onto the rowing team her freshman year, competed at the 2019 World Rowing Indoor Championships PR3 in Long Beach, Calif. Competing on Feb. 24, Reilly set a world record with a time of 7:22.5 over 2000 meters on an erg (stationary rowing machine).
Though she beat the previous world record by 15 seconds, Reilly said her time was actually not even a personal best.
"The record I have is not my best erg time, just because the time of year we are in," Reilly said. "Since it's winter season we're not in the sprinting season, it doesn't allow me to be in peak condition for a 2000m race."
Still, Reilly has officially gone from rowing walk-on to rowing world-record holder.
"I can't believe it at all," Reilly said. "It was an amazing opportunity."
At the PR3 competition Reilly's main competition was Danielle Hansen from the United States and Greta Muti of Italy. Reilly and Hansen are actually teammates for Team USA on the PR3 Mix4+ team that won a silver medal at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in September.
In September of this past year, Reilly was able to compete in the World rowing championship, held in Bulgaria. She was forced to miss the first two weeks of the Fall semester at URI, however she made it worth it. Reilly came back home with a silver medal, losing by just two seconds to Great Britain.
This wonderful accomplishment is just one of many on Reilly's rowing resume. In addition to the world record and the silver medal in September, she has been a part of two Atlantic 10 Championship-winning teams with the Rams. In each of her last two seasons, Reilly's boat has won its flight at the conference championships, and as a freshman, her boat placed second. She also has twice competed at the NCAA Championship, and she represented Rhode Island at the prestigious Henley Women's Regatta in England last summer.
Reilly qualifies for the PR3 category for para-rowing, which entails limited use in legs, trunk, and arms. She was born with extra fingers and toes, and the surgeries to get them removed limit her range of motion. In order to qualify for the para-rowing team, doctors must test your range of motion and place you in a category that fits you.