MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University rowing team will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., this weekend to take on Alabama and UCF on Saturday, April 6, on the Black Warrior River.
The Mountaineers, who have four entries prepared to race against the Crimson Tide and the Golden Knights, are competing in Alabama for the first time in program history.
Two crews will race in the women’s 8+, and two crews will compete in the women’s 4+.
“We're traveling with the three NCAA team crews: varsity 'A' 8+, varsity 'B' 8+, varsity 'A' 4+ and the varsity 'B' 4+,” says head coach Jimmy King. “Crew selection within our team is very competitive this year and there are rowers in the varsity 'B' 4+ who could be racing in the varsity 'A' 4+ by next weekend. We want to continue fostering that healthy intrasquad competition for the betterment of our entire program.”
Previously, at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational Regatta in Oak Ridge Tenn., the varsity 8+ ‘A’ crew of Hilary Meale
, Rachelle Purych
, Kelly Kramer
, Lisa Deklau
, Danielle Widecrantz
, Jessica Hurlbert
, Karen Verwey
, Courtney Schrand
, and coxswain Morgan Leach
paced the Mountaineers by crossing the finish line in 6:49.30, for a second-place finish against Dayton and Miami for their best time of the weekend.
The varsity 4+ crew of Allison Coates
, Enya Messersmith
, Caroline Mullins
, Susannah Hartlove
and coxswain Alexandra Basil
wrapped up competition for WVU on day two with a second-place finish and weekend-best time of 8:22.84, against Buffalo and Georgetown.
Alabama recently competed in a dual regatta against Clemson, on Lake Hartwell, in Clemson, S.C. The Crimson Tide’s varsity 8+ crew and varsity 4+ crews fell to Clemson, with times of 7:01.4 and 8:21.6, respectively.
Central Florida’s varsity 8+ and varsity 4+ crews recently posted times of 7:09.1 and 8:13.2, respectively, at the Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas, on March 24.
“As I told the team after the morning row, this is a conference match-up (Conference USA) which is kind of a neat thing for us in rowing,” says King. “We don't often have regular-season conference races as is common in other sports. We have a great opportunity to see how we fare against these schools now rather than getting a first glimpse six weeks later at the conference championship.”
Saturday’s action is set to begin at 9:30 a.m.
A recap of the day’s action will be available on WVUsports.com following the completion of competition.