Posted: 04/01/2011 | Last updated: April 1, 2011 at 12:01 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Following a solid overall outing to open the spring, the Lehigh rowing team will travel to Lewisberry, Pa. to compete in the Neuweiler Plate on Saturday. The Mountain Hawks look to build on its experience last week as it eyes the Patriot League Championships, which take place later this month in Worcester, Mass.
Lehigh head coach Brian Conley was pleased with the team’s effort at last weekend’s Murphy Cup.
“The team as a whole was able to put themselves in the race,” he said. “Many times, with the first race of the season against crews that have already raced, there is a tendency to be left at the line. However, we were composed and able to get ourselves into the mix.”
The Mountain Hawks’ top finish was the Men’s Varsity Pair of sophomore Christopher Hall and freshman Anthony Palacio, who made it to the grand final with a time of 8:24.34. The Men’s Freshmen Eight also impressed, placing third with a time of 6:41.22. The Mountain Hawks also placed fourth in four other races - Women’s Freshmen Four (8:54.69), Men’s Freshmen Four (7:59.37), Women’s Varsity Eight (6:57.66) and Men’s Varsity Eight (6:24.01).
Even with a taste of success, Conley still knows there is continued room for improvement.
“We need to improve upon the two ends of our race,” he said. “We have done very little work on the start and sprint ends of the race, so there is a great deal of speed that we can find there. Our focus has been maximizing our base speed. We’ll continue to do that while starting to refine those two aspects as well.”
Saturday will feature a variety of local teams, including Robert Morris, Franklin & Marshall and Penn State, among others. The Mountain Hawks will race Men’s and Women’s Varsity Eight before breaking into Varsity Four later in the day. A number of freshmen crews will also compete.
“We are looking to gain more race experience this weekend and start to increase our level of intensity with each approaching race,” said Conley.
Saturday’s competition is being held in Ginchot State Park in Lewisberry. Archrival Lafayette won the Neuweiler Plate team trophy a year ago; the Leopards will not be competing this time around.