The West Virginia University rowing team is set to compete at the 2012 BIG EAST Championships, Sunday, on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J.
"We've had a good week of training and our crews are certainly rounding into form," says coach Jimmy King. "All the work has been done and now it's a matter of putting forth our best effort on Sunday."
West Virginia will face competition from seven other BIG EAST schools including Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Syracuse and Villanova.
While racing will be held on Mercer Lake for the second consecutive year, the format will be different from years past. This year, time trials will be held for the varsity eight, second varsity eight, third varsity eight, varsity four and second varsity four events.
The time trials are set to begin at 8 a.m., with the crews lining up for their respective finals starting at 11 a.m.
The Mountaineers have four entries in this weekend's regatta.
All four events have been seeded, with West Virginia receiving a three seed in the varsity four event, a five seed in the varsity eight and varsity four events, and a seven seed in the second varsity eight event.
Last year, the Mountaineers saw their second varsity four crew earn a bronze medal in the Grand Final, while the varsity eight and varsity four crews advanced to their respective Grand Finals as well.
The team ultimately finished the regatta with 54 points for a seventh-place finish.
"We have an opportunity to place well as a team, but to do so will truly take a complete team effort," King says. "There has been a lot of close racing among the schools this season, so finishing just one spot higher or lower in any event can shift team standings up or down."
Notre Dame is the current reigning league champion, having captured its eighth-straight BIG EAST Championship at last year's regatta.
Racing will stream live on the BIG EAST website at www.bigeast.org.