The West Virginia University rowing team will be competing in their final regatta of the fall season this weekend, the Rivanna Romp, in Earlysville, Va. This will be a varsity squad regatta, as the novice squad completed their fall season Nov. 8.
Head coach Jimmy King said this will be the hardest competition the Mountaineers have faced all fall. He’s looking for a strong finish to carry over into the spring season.
“The overall competition is the greatest we will have faced this season. Three of the six were ranked in the top 20 at the end of last spring. As such, we’re more interested in our results relative to our competitors than we were earlier in the season,” he said.
WVU will be participating in two varsity 8+s. Most of those rowers and coxswains will then double-up into three or four varsity 4+s.
Although competition will be tough, the mindset of the WVU rowers will not change. The entire season has been about being focused on the process at hand.
“We continue to be focused on the process, especially considering the nature of fall racing which is against the clock rather than head-to-head as in the spring. The goals we set for this weekend’s racing will be largely internal,” King said.
The Rivanna Romp, with three top-20 teams at the end of the spring 2013 season and a total of six schools in the regatta, is definitely not the largest competition the Mountaineers have faced, but it won’t be an easy one, either.
“Unlike our earlier regattas, this one is much smaller. (It’s) attended by five schools, plus host University of Virginia,” King said.
Virginia, who finished 2013 No. 5, will be attempting to keep their success going. The University of Oklahoma and University of Louisville, No. 19 and No. 20, respectively, will also be competing. Also participating will be the University of Pennsylvania and Old Dominion University.
The Mountaineers will have a two months off before returning to the water for the spring 2014 season.