Lehigh Rowing returns to action in Philly on Saturday

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh women’s and men’s rowing returns to Philadelphia on Saturday to face La Salle, Fairfield and UMass (women only). The races start at 10 am. For the men, it will be their last vote before next weekend’s MARC (Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference) championships, while the women have another regatta before their Patriot League championships on Friday, May 13.

For Saturday’s races, the Lehigh women and men will race at Fairfield and La Salle in the morning, while the women will also race at UMass in the afternoon.

The women leave Colgate last weekend which saw many highlights. Leading the way was the Varsity Eight, who defeated both Colgate in the morning and Marist in the afternoon to earn Patriot League Boat of the Week for the first time this season.

“I think the women came back from last weekend with a confidence that we’ve been looking for all season,” said Lehigh’s head coach Brian Conley. “Every boat is different and it was really great to have a successful weekend in New York.”

The men’s team had mixed results at the Murphy Cup; The highlight was third overall in the Varsity Four.

“The men had to deal with some really tough racing conditions,” said Conley. “They showed good speed. We will focus on the Varsity Eight as that is the priority boat. We need to get our best performance together in this event as this is the event that will give us points in the MARC Championships next weekend.”

This week in practice there were some very specific areas of focus.

“The women were focused on building on the pace and lessons learned from the weekend,” Conley said. “Being consistent from one race to the next is so critical to success this weekend and with the Patriots, so these double race weekends really help us learn how to do that. If both teams can take what they did in practice this week to the track, they will do really well.”

Conley knows that consistency from race to race is always key and this weekend is no different.

“Race as we practice and do it in back-to-back races,” he said. “A 2000m race is physically demanding for a rower and our championships require us to be fit, composed and mentally and physically strong enough to do it at least twice in a single day. So at this point in the year it comes down to how diligent we are to keep up the basics when we get tired.”

Following Saturday, the men prepare for their MARC Championships on Sunday, May 1st. The women return to the water on Saturday, April 30, the day before, against Bucknell, Duquesne and Delaware.

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