BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lehigh rowing team returns to the water on Saturday when it hosts archrival Lafayette in the annual Lehigh River Cup in Allentown. The Mountain Hawks look to continue an excellent 2010-11 school year against the Leopards, while recapturing success of two weeks ago when they won the Neuweiler Plate.
"We’re looking forward to the regatta," said Lehigh head coach Brian Conley. "Every year, the team really gets angst up and going [for Lafayette]. This week in practice has been pretty exciting. They’ve definitely upped their game as far as ratings and power with each and every piece that we’ve done. We’re looking forward to seeing what we can put out there on Saturday."
The Mountain Hawks are coming off an up-and-down performance at the Knecht Cup. Leading the way was the Men’s Freshmen Eight, who advanced all the way to the Petite Final after falling just short of qualifying for the Grand Final. The Men’s Freshmen Four also raced in the Third Level Final. Meanwhile, on the women’s side, leading the charge was the Second Varsity Eight, who came in sixth in the preliminary heats against some of the regatta’s strongest competition.
This came a week after Lehigh’s most successful regatta of the spring, when it won the Neuweiler Plate after capturing first place in five races while placing in five others.
"We struggled a bit in the Knecht Cup, mostly because we tried to change up some of the lineups, which we found out didn’t work," said Conley. "So we’ve been trying to get back to the lineups that did work at the Neuweiler Plate and build a confidence in those lineups and get ourselves to the point where we can have that same speed, if not more."
Lehigh looks to improve to 25-4 against Lafayette this calendar year across all sports.
"We’ll have some pretty good crews out there this weekend," said Conley. "The varsity should do pretty well along with the freshmen, who have had continued success, getting faster and faster throughout the year. It should be a good showing throughout the entire regatta."
Saturday will serve as a good warmup to the Patriot League Championships, which take place next Sunday (Apr. 24) on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass.