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Published on March 17, 2024
Oak Ridge's Melton Hill Lake Sets Stage for Fierce Louisville Cardinal Invitational Rowing EventSource: Instagram/Oak Ridge Rowing Association

Over the weekend, athletes and rowing aficionados alike congregated at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge for a splash of competition at the Louisville Cardinal Invitational. In what was described by USRowing referee Andy Cooke as "great racing, especially early season," teams had their oars at the ready to kick off the event on Saturday, put forth by Oak Ridge Rowing Association (ORRA). With the scullers and their fans flooding the area, the local landscape was transformed into a hub of athletic prowess, reported WVLT.

The Invitational saw a gathering of ten Division I women's teams, all vying for the win and to possibly get a leg up in rankings, though they weren't competing to advance to a higher level - at least not today. Alabama’s Coach Zach Johnson couldn't hide his enthusiasm, considering it their "first big race" and a chance to truly measure up against the competition, as he told WVLT. Meanwhile, Brian Mulhall, a returning fan from Florida reveling in Tennessee's beauty, dubbed the venue one of the nicest for rowing, enhancing the excitement and fanfare of the sports event.

When it came to the grueling competition on the water, Navy's women's rowing teams were pushed to their limits. The squad found themselves neck and neck with formidable opponents throughout the day, eventually earning one win courtesy of their second varsity four crew, according to details shared by Navy Sports. Despite the stiff competition, Navy's boats managed to slice through the water with precision earning runner-up results in several races.

This series of regattas in Oak Ridge is just the beginning of a season brimming with more high-caliber rowing to come. Explore Oak Ridge President Katy Watt praised the community's support for rowing and welcomed all to witness the "fierce competition" that the ORRA has in store this year. The organization's involvement, as The Oak Ridger reports, is indicative of the city's commitment to fostering a thriving environment for the sport.

Navy's rowing teams are slated to continue to demonstrate their might at the regatta's conclusion on Sunday, with all crews gearing up for another chance to showcase their mettle against the best the sport has to offer.