Lehigh heads to Neuweiler Plate this weekend
Posted: 03/30/2012 | Last updated: March 30, 2012 at 11:56 AM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Following a solid start to its season, the Lehigh rowing team will head to the Neuweiler Plate on Saturday looking to defend its championship from a year ago. The regatta will begin at 10 a.m. at Pinchot State Park in Lewisberry, Pa. The Mountain Hawks won the Neuweiler Plate last season by winning five races while placing in five others. Lehigh looks to recapture the magic of that regatta while building on strong efforts from last weekend’s Murphy Cup.
“The conditions [last weekend] were really challenging and the team had some better-than-expected results which are always huge confidence builders,” said Lehigh head coach Brian Conley. “We also discovered areas that we need to work on. We’ll continue to work on not letting conditions dictate our ability to race. We’ll also make sure we continue to build our speed through technical improvements.”
The women’s squad impressed last Saturday as the Freshmen Eight placed fifth overall while the Varsity Eight finished 12th after taking sixth in the Petit Finale. The Men’s Varsity Four narrowly missed the grad final, placing seventh - just one shy of a top-six spot needed to qualify.
The team will draw confidence from winning the Neuweiler Plate last year, but it isn’t something they focus on leading into the weekend.
“The team is proud of its result last year, but knows that last year has no relation to this year. It’s a different team,” said Conley. “We look at it like we may be the target based on last weekend’s results and know we have to be prepared.”
Some keys to the weekend are preparation, composure and desire, according to Conley. “We have to practice like we race and race like we practice,” he said. “We’ve raced in practice with focus on rowing our boat and not being concerned with other crews around us. The nice thing about racing is if a crew has the greatest desire, they will win it because all three come together.”
The Mountain Hawks will return to action in two weeks, on Apr. 14 and 15, when they will row in the Knecht Cup.