CHERRY HILL, NJ Lehigh’s rowing team continued to raise the bar at the Patriot League Championships as the Mountain Hawks finished fifth overall, led by a fourth-place finish from the Varsity Eight on Friday’s Cooper River in Cherry Hill, nj. The V8’s performance was tied for the best finish in the history of the program and the best with nine teams participating. Last season, Lehigh’s Varsity Eight also was fourth of seven teams that entered.
“Two of the three boats outperformed their placings and the other met their placings,” said Lehigh head coach. Brian Conley† “If you walk away and the whole team performs better than where they were ‘supposed’, I think that’s a great race for us. The Varsity Eight stood out the most for putting together their best race they’ve ever put down before. That was a very tough race and a great performance from them overall.”
As a team, Lehigh finished fifth overall with 29 points, just two points behind Georgetown in fourth and one ahead of MIT in sixth. Boston University won the team championship by 50 points, followed by Bucknell in second (48) and Navy in third (46).
The Varsity Eight took second in the morning heat, with a time of 7:14.629, more than three seconds ahead of Bucknell (who won the grand final).
Great finish by the Varsity Eight this morning to take second in its heat! pic.twitter.com/8fUzGWOwqx
Lehigh Rowing (@LehighRowing) May 13, 2022
The Mountain Hawks then took fourth in a neck-and-neck grand final that went to the extreme. Lehigh’s time was 7:04.686, just over five seconds behind Navy in third place (6:59.210). Boston University took second (6:57.150) and Bucknell finished first (6:49.813).
What a thrilling race in the Varsity Eight grand finale as the Mountain Hawks finished fourth this afternoon, just five seconds behind Navy in third and less than 15 seconds behind first. pic.twitter.com/WTlhpNfJpK
Lehigh Rowing (@LehighRowing) May 13, 2022
Friday was the closest the Mountain Hawks’ Varsity Eight ever got to Navy, an annual competitor in the Patriot League. Lehigh’s Varsity Eight also defeated Georgetown for the first time in the program’s history.
“This was the first time the Varsity Eight scared a lot of the other teams because they could potentially win a medal and steal the race,” said Conley. “I think that says a lot about the growth of the program, but more importantly, about the leadership that the seniors have brought to the program. We are going to miss them very much, but they have something left for everyone to choose from. us up and carry.”
Lehigh Rowing (@LehighRowing) May 14, 2022
The Varsity Four also reached the grand final after finishing third in the morning heat. The Mountain Hawks set a time of 8:44.265, with Colgate in fourth (9:22.812). In the grand finale, Lehigh finished fifth, ahead of MIT in sixth (8:52.329).
The Second Varsity Eight narrowly missed the grand finale, finishing fourth in the heat with a time of 7:53.129, just over seven seconds behind Colgate in third. The Mountain Hawks won the small final with a time of 7:54.469, ahead of Holy Cross (8:03.249) and Loyola (8:26.146).
The spring season saw plenty of highlights, culminating in Friday’s performance as the program looks set to continue raising the bar towards 2022-23.
“We were a very young team,” said Conley. “When they came in in the fall and went through COVID and all, I think at the end of the day they did a really great job of listening to what they wanted us to do, but more importantly, they set their own goals of what the team should achieve. They went out there, raced it and had their best performance of the season.”
Standings of the Patriot League Women’s Rowing 2022
1. Boston University 50
2. Bucknell 48
4. George Town 31
6. WITH 28
7. Colgate 16
8. Holy Cross 13
9. Loyola Maryland 8
2022 Patriot League Women’s Rowboat of the Year
Bucknell Varsity 8
2022 Patriot League Women’s Rowing Coach of the Year
Madeline Davis, Tully, Boston University
1. George Town 7:03.077
2. Lehigh 7: 14.629
3. Bucknell 7:17.817
4. Colgate 7:30.436
1. Bucknell 6:49.813
2. Boston University 6:57.150
3. Navy 6:59.210
4. Lehigh 7:04.686
5. George Town 7:10.123
6. MIT 7:15,940
Second Varsity Eight
1. Navy 7:25.207
2. Bucknell 7:39.711
3. Colgate 7:46.031
4. Lehigh 7:53.129
1. Lehigh 7:54.469
2. Holy Cross 8:03.249
3. Loyola 8:26.146
1. Boston University 8:22.122
2. Bucknell 8:24.393
3. Lehigh 8:44.265
4. Colgate 9:22.812
1. Navy 8:11.846
2. Boston University 8: 14.742
3. Bucknell 8: 16,739
4. George Town 8:22.746
5. Lehigh 8:37.146
6. MIT 8:52.329
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