Rowing to Compete for C-USA Championship

  • By Jonathan Hevron
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  • May 16, 2014 10:17 AM
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The Mountaineers finished fifth at the Big 12 Championship on May 3 on the Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University rowing team concludes its championship season at the Conference USA Championship in Oak Ridge, Tenn., on Melton Hill Lake on Saturday, May 17.
"Since a very disappointing showing at the Big 12 Conference Championship two weeks ago, we've worked diligently to develop more speed in all of our crews,” says coach Jimmy King. “Workouts have been focused and productive, and our team has responded well to the challenges set before them. We're finally healthy and rested and expect to see improved performances across the board."
Action from Melton Hill is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. EST with the opening heat of the Varsity Eight+. The finals will take place at 2:20 p.m., starting with the Open Four+ Petite Final and concluding with the Varsity Eight+ Grand Final. The top-three crews from the morning heats advance to the afternoon’s Grand Final.
"No team has established themselves as a clear favorite this year, but the depth throughout the conference has certainly improved,” King says. “Racing should be quite good among the schools in both the morning heats as well as the afternoon finals."
The 11 teams competing will earn team points in the First Varsity Eight+, Second Varsity Eight+ and the Varsity Four+ races. The Mountaineers also have boats racing in the Open Four+ and Third Varsity Eight+.
Participating schools at this weekend's championship include Alabama, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Old Dominion, Sacramento State, San Diego State, Tennessee, Texas and Tulsa.
Last season, Oklahoma came away with the team crown, edging out Tennessee by six points. The Mountaineers finished sixth with a team score of 36.
Saturday will mark the second trip the Mountaineers have made to Melton Hill Lake, with the first coming in the spring's opening competition at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational.
WVU is coming off a fifth-place finish at the Big 12 Championship on May 3 on the Oklahoma River.
All five of the Big 12 Conference rowing squads compete in Conference USA for NCAA selection purposes.