BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Three former Mountain Hawks are currently rowing in the World Championships in Bled, Slovenia. Todd Mickelson (‘08) and Jonathan Winter (‘06) are on the U.S. National Team while Marcus Bateman is competing for the British National Team. They continue a long list of former Lehigh rowers excelling in the post-collegiate ranks.
The championships began with the arrival of the teams from Aug. 20-23, and run all the way until the end of the finals on Sept. 4. Winter is taking part in the Lightweight 2X, Mickelson the Lightweight 4X and Bateman the 2X. The 2X and Lightweight 2X are both Olympic events.
“I am really grateful to be able to travel the world for rowing,” said Winter. “Not many people get to compete at the highest level of their sport, and I try to never forget that.”
“It's always a great honor to represent our country,” said Bateman. “To compete against the world and aim to be the best is the ultimate challenge in elite sport. I competed at last year’s World Championships and came in second. I look to go one step better this year and take that World Championship title.”
Mickelson and Winter both represented the United States in the 2010 World Rowing Championships from Oct. 31 through Nov. 7 in New Zealand. Mickelson took part in the Men’s Lightweight Quadruple Sculls and Winter the Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls. Both athletes train at GMS Rowing Center in New Milford, Conn. under the direction of former German National Team coach Gunter Beutter.
The trio has also rowed in other international competition, including the Under-23 Worlds, Senior Worlds and World Cup circuit (which is a three-race series from May through July).
For Mickelson, Winter and Bateman, they look back to their time at Lehigh as crucial in their development.
“I made lifelong friends rowing at Lehigh,” said Bateman. “I will never forget my time at Lehigh because it was an amazing experience and would encourage anyone to take up rowing at Lehigh.”
Bateman also credits current Lehigh men’s coach Jason Moorehead for his extra technique sessions on the ergo.
“It’s exciting that I'm not the only former Lehigh athlete here,” said Winter. I think it shows that elite level rowing doesn't need to start at one of the Ivy League programs with a 200-year tradition of rowing. I am very grateful for all the people at Lehigh who came before me to build up a team from a small club of 10 to a competitive Dad Vail team.
“Lehigh Rowing is a big part of my success,” he continued. “While at school, I was able to row with the team in the morning, and then practice my sculling in my single during the afternoon. Usually college students are only exposed to sweep rowing (one oar), but I was able to get in plenty of practice sculling (two oars), which I think helped.”
The trio has enjoyed success thus far. Bateman’s boat won his heat in the Men’s Double Sculls on Sunday, which is a great step towards qualifying for next year’s Olympics. Mickelson has made the Grand Final while Winter’s crew has advanced to the Petite Final. For compete news and results from the championships, please check out their official website by clicking here.