Rowers find rhythm, gain momentum for ACRA Nationals in Tennessee
Members of Liberty University’s men’s and women’s rowing team will leave on Thursday to compete against 70 club programs from around the nation in the American Collegiate Rowing Association (ACRA) National Championships in Oak Ridge, Tenn., from Friday through Sunday.
The Flames and Lady Flames will enter four boats (women’s Varsity 4 and Novice 8 and men’s Novice 4 and Double) into the regatta, which will draw programs from 35 states to Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn., to row in a total of 300 preliminary heats and final races on the 2,000-meter course.
“We are very excited and are looking forward to getting back to Oak Ridge, which has a great spectator course,” Liberty Head Coach Debbie Prowse said. “We have had some really good practices and rows in and have started our taper to get ready, reducing the volume of our workouts. We are just trying to be prepared mentally for the upcoming races. They will be three long days, and we want to make the most of it, to use what we’ve learned all year.”
Most of the lineups have remained the same from the last regatta Liberty competed in, at Rocketts Landing near Richmond, where the Lady Flames finished first in the Varsity 4, Novice 4, and Novice 8 races and the Flames won the Novice 4 event. That boat’s lineup was the only one to change for this weekend’s races.
“We have ironed out some lineup changes in the men’s Novice 4 which have really helped our boat move a little more efficiently and quicker,” Prowse said, noting that freshman Kyle Meeker will be at coxswain with senior Kody Herbert in the bow, freshman Travis Hogan in the 2 seat, freshman Gideon Abbott in the 3 seat, and sophomore John Bailey at stroke.
Oak Ridge is the same location as the SIRA Championships where Liberty competed last month, when the women’s Novice 8 struck silver in a field that included both club and NCAA Division I programs. Weather conditions appear favorable for this weekend, with highs in the upper 70s, though there is better than a 50 percent chance of rain on Saturday.
See the complete schedule and follow live results on the ACRA website.