Rowing Travels to Occoquan


By Jonathan Hevron for WVUsports.com
November 01, 2013 10:50 AM
Jimmy King
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.  – West Virginia University rowing takes to the water at the Head of the Occoquan in Fairfax, Va., on Saturday, Nov. 2, and at the Collegiate Small Boat Challenge in West Windsor, N.J., on Sunday, Nov. 3.
 
“Our entire team is looking forward to this weekend because it is the only time this fall when our entire team- varsity and novice squads- will compete together representing WVU,” says coach Jimmy King.
 
Both the varsity and novice squads will be competing at the Head of the Occoquan on Saturday.
 
“It will be a good test to see how our novice squad has progressed from its first strokes in September to now, and to let them get a feel for competition,” says coach Mandy Merritt, who is coaching the novice squad. “This, their first race, will be a learning experience and a good marker to tell me what we need to improve on to get ready for spring and championship racing later in the year.”
 
Last season at the Head of the Occoquan, the Mountaineers earned top-10 finishes in the women's 4+ and the women's novice 8+.
 
“Unlike last weekend, the varsity eights race before the fours at the Head of the Occoquan where we'll strive for better performances in that class,” King says. “Specifically, we're continuing to work on shrinking the spread among our three eights, while at the same time, improving our speed relative to our competitors.”
 
A select varsity squad will travel to the Caspersen Rowing Center on Mercer Lake in N.J. on Sunday, Nov. 3. The inaugural event is hosted by the Princeton National Rowing Association. Sponsored events include: the women's 1x, women's 2x and women's 2-.
 
Last time out, the Mountaineers earned a bronze medal in the women's open 4+ at the Head of the Schuylkill in Philadelphia. The crew of Elizabeth Duarte, Elizabeth Kantak, Karen Verwey, Courtney Schrand and coxswain Emily Deming crossed the line in 16:55.31, finishing within three seconds of the first-place boat from Duquesne.



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