Sept. 19, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - After more than two weeks of morning training on the Ohio River, the Louisville rowing program will have its first racing session against outside competition when the Cardinals travel to Bloomington, Ind., for scrimmage races against Indiana on Saturday at Lake Lemon.
Marking the second straight season Louisville has opened the fall with scrimmage races against the Hoosiers, the two teams will conduct a series of eight-minute racing pieces in various boats. Rather than grouping the crews in a stacked format, the goal will be to group the boats more evenly.
"Our plan is to put our top 16 athletes in two even crews of eight and our next 8-12 rowers in even crews of four," said Louisville head coach Derek Copeland, who is entering his second season leading the Cardinals. "I like this format because it allows us as coaches to look at the entire team and keeps everything working together. There will be plenty of time to stack boats later in the season, so it's really beneficial for the team to have everyone helping one another."
The scrimmage races at Indiana will open a busy fall for the Cardinals, who will host the annual Red & Black Scrimmage on Oct. 5 before traveling to the Head of the Eagle in Indianapolis, Ind., on Oct. 26 and the Rivanna Romp in Charlottesville, Va., on Nov. 17. That fall slate will be important for Louisville as it continues its growth as a program and its pursuit of an NCAA Championship berth in 2014.
"After using much of last season discovering who we were as a team and as individual rowers, I think the team is well prepared for the upcoming season," Copeland explained. "They didn't have any real results last year until later in the season, which meant that the first five months of effort was based solely on trusting our system and having faith in what we were teaching. They learned that what we're doing works, so this season, they know they have speed and they have confidence in what they saw last year. We believe that will help us raise our performance to another level."
The scrimmage at Indiana will be a varsity only event for Louisville with approximately 30 members of the team traveling and competing. After hosting the Red & Black Day on the Ohio River, the Cardinals will travel both varsity and novice crews to the Head of the Eagle in an event conducted at Eagle Creek Park, site of the 2013 and 2014 NCAA Rowing Championship.