MORGANTOWN, W.Va – The West Virginia University rowing team won all three of its event finals to help the Big 12 Conference secure a victory at the George Mason Invitational in Fairfax Station, Virginia, on Sunday.
Over the course of the day, three conferences, the Big 12, Colonial Athletic Conference and Atlantic 10, competed for bragging rights in a unique competition that pitted each conference against one another instead of the individual schools.
WVU joined Big 12 foes Kansas and Old Dominion. Eastern Michigan, Buffalo and Delaware represented the Colonial, while host George Mason, George Washington and Dayton competed for the Atlantic 10.
Five Mountaineer boats competed in the first varsity eight, second varsity eight, third varsity eight, varsity four and second varsity four. Points were awarded in the finals in the first varsity eight, second varsity eight and first varsity four.
In the afternoon finals, the winner of the varsity eight final received nine points for their conference, the second-place finisher received six points and the third-place boat collected three points. The second varsity eight boats scored with a 6-4-2 format and the varsity fours used a 3-2-1 scoring system.
The Big 12 claimed victories in eight of the nine finals to win the George Mason Invitational.
"Today the varsity eights, and in particular the first eight, took steps forward in understanding how to better move their boats,” coach Jimmy King said. “I'm especially pleased with how the first eight bounced back from yesterday's racing. Their afternoon final was the most complete race they have put together this season, but there are still areas to improve, meaning there is still more speed to be gained."
In the first varsity eight C Final, the Mountaineers (6:41.6) were able to pace host George Mason (6:47.4) by six seconds to secure their first victory of the day. Buffalo would finish just 0.2 seconds behind George Mason in 6:47.6.
"I was nervous to begin today's racing after yesterday's results, but I think we all had the same mindset that anything we put out today would be better,” senior Louisa Morgan
said. “I'm extremely happy that we went one step further than just trying to improve upon yesterday, and I'm really happy to experience some of the best racing we've had all season, as well as some of the best in my time at WVU.”
The Mountaineers claimed their second event final victory of the day when WVU (6:57.1) bested Delaware (7:04.3) and George Mason (7:26.0) in the second varsity eight B final.
Overall, the Big 12 finished with 52 points, while the Colonial finished second with 30 points and the Atlantic 10 third with 26 points.
In other afternoon racing, Old Dominion’s third varsity eight boat outraced their WVU counterparts. West Virginia finished the race in 7:43.6.
The second varsity four boat finished in third place in 7:51.8, behind Kansas 7:41.5 and George Washington 7:39.1, who took first.
The morning’s opening session put each teams against their respective conference foes. The results of the morning session determined what final each team would race in to earn points for their conference.
WVU took second place in the second varsity eight (7:01.2), first varsity four (8:00.2), third varsity eight (7:23.2), and the second varsity four (7:43.6) events.
The Mountaineers began their day with the first varsity eight race, where Kansas (6:39.6) edged Old Dominion (6:48.1) and WVU (6:53.0).
The top finisher in each of the morning’s races moved on to the A final, while second-place finishers competed in the B final and third-place finishers the C final.
The Mountaineers will be back in action next Saturday, April 29, as they take on Temple, Delaware and Navy, in Philadelphia.
SUNDAY MORNING SESSION LINEUPS/RESULTS
- Kansas (6:39.6)
- Old Dominion (6:48.1)
- West Virginia (6:53.0)
- Kansas (6:52.9)
- West Virginia (7:01.2)
- Old Dominion (7:09.5)
- Kansas (7:37.5)
- West Virginia (8:00.2)
- Old Dominion (8:09.5)
- Kansas (7:01.1)
- West Virginia (7:23.2)
- Old Dominion (7:24.0)
- Kansas (7:39.6)
- West Virginia (7:43.6)
- Delaware ‘A’ (7:54.2)
SUNDAY AFTERNOON SESSION LINEUPS/RESULTS
- West Virginia (6:41.6)
- George Mason (6:47.4)
- Buffalo (6:47.6)
- West Virginia (6:57.1)
- Delaware (7:04.3)
- George Mason (7:26.0)
- West Virginia (7:54.7)
- Buffalo (8:03.6)
- Dayton (8:38.8)
- Old Dominion (7:30.5)
- West Virginia (7:43.6)
- George Washington (7:39.1)
- Kansas (7:41.5)
- West Virginia (7:51.8)
- Big 12 Conference (52 pts.)
- Atlantic 10 Conference (30 pts.)
- Colonial Athletic Conference (26 pts.)
*All lineups are listed bow to stroke with the coxswain at the end.