Posted: April 1, 2007
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Lehigh Men’s and Women’s Varsity Eights traveled to sunny California and competed in the extremely competitive Cal Cup at the San Diego Crew Classic last weekend on Mission Bay.
The Men’s Heat was the first race of the weekend. In the calm early morning conditions, the Mountain Hawk Men faced six other boats including last year’s champions Orange Coast College. Taking advantage of a clean start, Lehigh opened up a lead of three seats in the first five hundred meters that never diminished. The Lehigh bow eventually crossed the line first with a length of open water. They took the heat in a time of 6:09.27; good enough to qualify for Sunday’s Grand Final.
Less than an hour later, the Women’s heat came down a similarly pristine course against a diverse set of crews from Kansas, West Virginia, and California. Lehigh battled from a slow and rocky start, pushing through Chapman and Claremont early. From there, the women didn’t stop their move and walked through West Virginia by the 1000 meter mark. Their 3rd place finish time of 7:14.04 in the heat (behind the two fastest times of the day) secured them a spot in Sunday’s Petite Finals.
The women raced first in their Petite Finals but the mid-morning start to Sunday racing produced less than pristine racing conditions, as crews were forced to deal with a strong port-to-starboard crosswind down the course. This wind affected the women’s start, and again they started the race in a weak 6th place position. Undaunted they took on the strong field, and charged down the course. By the half-way mark Lehigh had pulled ahead of Villanova and was steadily walking on UC San Diego and UC Santa Clara. At this point, the competition in the lane next to them inexplicably veered into Lehigh’s lane, forcing Lehigh to adjust their course and loose time. Lehigh channeled their frustrations into a powerful second half that pressed them even with the leading and unimpeded Villanova crew. With only 150 meters to go, a hotly contested sprint ensued and Lehigh won the race, beating Villanova by a small margin of .47 seconds.
The Men’s Final was a well contested piece all the way down the course. Nationally ranked UC San Diego was able to push out to a half-length lead in the first quarter, along with UCLA, UC Davis and Orange Coast. The Mountain Hawks were sitting in fifth over the Gophers of Minnesota, but confidently worked back into the other crews, overtaking Orange Coast by the halfway point. Lehigh took a strong move in the 3rd quarter to push into the California schools. The move brought them closer into the leading boats but the line came too quick. The men still finished powerfully in 4th place, with only 5 seconds separating the leading four crews.
Coxed by Senior Sarah Michaels, the Women’s straight port-stroked lineup from bow to stern was Jackie Cross, Becca Guzman, Ellen Sweet, Emily Marshall, Christine Porcaro, Alix Howie, Diana Philipova, and Denise Julian.
Coxed by Freshman Jack Muskett, and featuring a bucket in four and five seats, the Men’s lineup from bow to stern was Kyle Miller, Joe Loguiduice, John Young, Andrew Younghein, Chris Hause, Sam Anderson, Phil Bresnahan and Todd Mickelson.