BOSTON, Mass – The Lehigh rowing team wrapped up its weekend at the Head of the Charles Regatta on Sunday, as the women finished 30th in the Championship Eights and men placed 33rd in the Collegiate Eights. It marked the first action of the season for the squad, which is led by first-year head coach Brian Conley.
“If you’re going to learn, you can do it the gradual way or get thrown into the fire,” said Conley. “With how few races we have this fall, starting with the biggest is the toughest way to do it, but we learned a lot.
“We were definitely disappointed with our overall performance, but learned we’re a young crew on both sides, so there’s a lot of mental preparation we need to do better,” he continued. “We’re racing the top-level athletes and top-level colleges, so it’s a tough first race.”
The women rowed in the most competitive event, the Championship Eights, which featured some of the top collegiate squad in the country, including Princeton, Brown, Yale and Virginia among others. The Mountain Hawks had some mechanical issue with their boat which hampered their finish. In the end, Lehigh placed 30th with a time of 19:08.238.
“The women had some mechanical issues for half the race,” said Conley. “That attributed to some of the disappointing performance.”
The men, who competed earlier on Sunday afternoon, finished 33rd in the Collegiate Eights with a time of 16:05.682.
The Mountain Hawks also had a men’s alumni boat which raced in the Alumni Eights on Saturday, finishing 19th with a time of 17:13.841 to guarantee entry to next year’s race. They faced a wide range of graduates from championship caliber and national level teams.
“We need to learn how to row hard and keep our focus in the boat as opposed to what’s happening around us,” said Conley. “We’re hoping to learn from this weekend and get better results next weekend.”
Lehigh returns to action closer to home when they row in the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta on Saturday in Philadelphia.