MORGANTOWN, W.Va - The West Virginia University rowing team will continue its spring campaign this weekend with a pair of competitions against Duquesne and Dayton on Saturday, April 22, and at the George Mason Invitational on Sunday, April 23.
On Saturday, the Mountaineers will begin the weekend in Pittsburgh, against Duquesne and Dayton. The three schools will have five crews racing the 2000-meter course on Saturday. The first varsity eight, second varsity eight, varsity four, second varsity four and the third varsity eight boats will all be competing.
Following all of the races on the 2000-meter course, selected boats will remain on the water to race in 1000-meter and 500-meter pieces.
“Duquesne has become a regular competitor for us over the past few years due to our proximity to each other,” coach Jimmy King said. “As with this weekend's competition, we usually take the opportunity to do additional work beyond the normal racing which benefits both.”
Saturday’s contest will take place on the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh. All boats will launch from the Three Rivers Rowing Association at Washington’s Landing. The races will start above Herrs Island and finish at the 31st Street Bridge.
"Racing on the Allegheny can be a challenge because it's not a closed race course,” King continued. “You have to be prepared for any type of disruption whether it's from unexpected wakes or some type of traffic on the race course. Racing focus and the ability to quickly refocus can factor more significantly here than at many other venues."
Following Saturday’s matchup in Pittsburgh, the Mountaineers will travel to Fairfax Station, Virginia, for a one-of-a-kind competition, the George Mason Invitational.
The George Mason Invite will pit three conferences the Big 12, Atlantic 10 and Colonial conferences against one another.
WVU will join Big 12 foes Kansas and Old Dominion. Eastern Michigan, Buffalo and Delaware will represent the Colonial Athletic Conference, while host George Mason, George Washington and Dayton will compete for the Atlantic 10.
In the morning session of Sunday’s event, the conference opponents will face one another to determine who will race in the A, B, and C Finals in the afternoon session.
Again, the Mountaineers will have five crews rowing on Sunday. The first varsity eight, second varsity eight, varsity four, second varsity four and the third varsity eight boats will all be racing. However, points will only be scored in three events, the first varsity eight, second varsity eight, and first varsity four.
The top finisher in each event will move on to the A final, while second place will compete in the B final and third, the C final.
In the afternoon session, the winner of the varsity eight final will receive nine points for their conference, the second-place finisher will get six point and third-place will collect three points. The second varsity eight boats will score with a 6-4-2 format and the varsity four will use a 3-2-1 scoring system.
The A, B and C Finals will use the same format of scoring their three competitions.
The conference that has obtained the most points through all nine finals competitions at the end of the event will be named the George Mason Invitational Champions.
"Conference challenges aren't unusual in our sport, but scoring points by conference rather than by school is different and a neat change from the norm,” King said. “First and foremost, however, we'll focus on testing our speed against our Big 12 foes, neither of whom we've raced this spring."
All boats will launch from Sandy Run Regional Park. Fans attending the event are able to park for free at the Sandy Run Regional Park parking area. A free shuttle will be provided to the grandstand by the finish line.
A heat sheet for the Mason Invite is available here
. Live stats throughout the event will be available at RegattaCentral.com
A full recap of both of this weekend’s events will be available following competition at WVUsports.com