In this Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 file photo, coxswain Elizabeth Litt, Madeleine Wescott, Carolyn Mazzie, Julianna Malachin, Mallory Fahey, Sara Salvo, Sabrina Bordash, Abigail Shreero, and Maria Granquist row up the Lehigh river in Allentown during rowing practice. The women's rowing team will face rival Lafayette in the River Cup on April 1, 2017 in Quakertown. (Chris Barry/B&W Staff)

Women’s rowing hopes to add to Lehigh’s dominance over Lafayette

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Lehigh and Lafayette have been rivals for over 100 years, dating back to the mid 1800s.

Whether it’s basketball, football or rowing, the fans take pride in beating their rival. When the two schools clash, they make for one of the nation’s most historic matchups: “The Rivalry.”

It’s been a one-sided rivalry this year with Lehigh taking 16 of the first 19 victories. The men’s and women’s basketball teams swept Lafayette to account for four victories while men’s and women’s cross country, winter track and field, and volleyball teams all picked up wins as well.

The women’s rowing team will look to continue Lehigh’s stretch of dominance over the Leopards. The Mountain Hawks are set to compete against Lafayette in The River Cup on April 1 at Lake Nockamixon in Quakertown.

The women are redefining their limits this week and pushing themselves to a new level of play in preparation for their competition.

“Everyone’s definitely in ‘race mode’ all week long,” sophomore Jessica Rivera-Rincon said. “We’re in the middle of a max week this week, so everyone’s worn down, but definitely pushing themselves to new limits.”

However, it takes more than one week of practice to get ready for “The Rivalry.”

“We haven’t just been preparing this week,” Mallory Fahey said. “We started by running a half marathon in September, we trained over winter break and spring break and now all our training is culminating, but being so close to ‘The Rivalry’ has added an extra hype to our practices. It’s been fun.”

Coach Brian Conley said defeating Lafayette in The River Cup would mean that after the 2000-meter long race is over, the Lehigh women’s team members could hold their heads high and their trophy higher.

“Winning the River Cup would really help solidify all the work the team has put in this year,” Conley said. “We lost the overall cup last year, which was the first time in over a decade. I am looking forward to the opportunity to engrave Lehigh in it one more time.”

The women are eager for the matchup because they will finally be able to show off their hard work after losing the team trophy last year.

“Bringing the whole team trophy back to Lehigh would definitely be sweet, and that’s our main goal going into this weekend,” Rivera-Rincon said.

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  1. Hi! The women’s team actually won all of the races last year, so they are eager to dominate AGAIN. Trophy went to Lafayette, due to men’s team’s loss.

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