Lehigh's rowing team competes at the Navy Day Regatta on Oct. 11. The team looks to focus on training this season. (Photo courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Lehigh’s rowing teams look to improve on last season’s performance

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This year, the Lehigh men’s and women’s rowing teams will look to build upon their successes from last season.

The women’s rowing team had a seventh-place finish overall at the 2014 Patriot League Championships at Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Massachusetts. The men’s club varsity team had a strong appearance in the petite finals against teams such as Villanova University, Army and George Mason University at the Dad Vail Regatta during the 2013-2014 season.

The team has placed an emphasis on its training with the hope that it will lead to stronger performances.

“Our training plan in rowing for the fall is all about getting our aerobic capacity as high as we can possibly get it,” said head coach Brian Conley. “This means a lot of long rows and runs that keep our heart rate accelerated for a prolonged period of time. The more that we can build this overall fitness early on and maintain it, the better our team will be in the spring.

“After we have built up our endurance, a rowing team’s success is dictated by its winter training season and how well the team responds to training indoors and staying healthy,” Conley continued. “Staying healthy in a college dorm and atmosphere is usually the great struggle for college athletes and something that we have definitely improved upon in recent years.”

Both the women’s and men’s rowing teams have high expectations for their respective teams this season. Senior captain of the women’s team Corey Johnson believes that setting the dynamic for her team will lead to great results.

“As captain, I’m doing my best to ensure everyone on the team is dedicated not only to their own improvement, but also to the improvement of the team overall,” Johnson said. “Rowing is so unique in the way it combines individual work ethic with the ability to work in unison. For us to win, we have to be able to find away to excel in both areas.”

Johnson is using her leadership position to not only motivate her fellow varsity rowers but also the freshman class. Her hope is that the freshmen can find the rowing experience as enjoyable as she did.

“My own experience as a walk-on taught me that developing a passion for the sport, along with building great relationships with everyone on the team, are what keep people interested in maintaining their commitment,” she said. “I’m hoping I can help the freshmen develop that so they can have four great years on the team like I have had.”

Johnson also wants her team to finish better than it did last year at the Patriot League Championship.

“I always am looking to improve from where we were last year, and I’m confident we will be able to do that this year,” she said. “Knowing that we only have two more races in the fall is even more motivation to continue working hard. And this spring, I’m looking forward to seeing all Lehigh boats go faster and place higher than we ever have in the past.”

Graduate student Leah Paulson feels that the team’s dynamic has been good in the past, and she hopes to continue it that way.

“The fourth-year rowers on the team and I have talked a lot about unity being valuable to our sport and our team,” Paulson said. “Rowing is the ultimate team sport because there is essentially no individual recognition during a race. I want our team to be unified not only on the water, but off as well.”

Unlike the women’s team, the men’s team participates in club varsity. As a result, the team is not technically part of the Patriot League. However, the men’s team takes the sport just as seriously as the women’s team and is also looking to improve. Junior Benjamin Morosse had a lot to say about the team’s dynamic training in the season thus far.

“First things first, it’s about wanting to be there,” Morosse said. “You have to love what you do in order to reach your top performance. Why you love something is up to you, but on this team, it comes from the camaraderie of your friends and the feeling of speed through the water. A well-rowed boat is one of the most satisfying feelings I’ve found from an athletics environment, and chasing that satisfaction and the ‘perfect row’ is what we all strive to achieve every time we get out there.”

Both teams are ready to work hard and succeed this year and are also looking to have promising performances throughout the 2014-2015 season.

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