PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The BIG EAST Conference – in conjunction with the Mercer County Parks and Recreation Department, the Princeton National Rowing Association and the Eastern College Athletic Conference – has announced that the 2011 BIG EAST Women’s Rowing Championship will be held May 1 on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J.
The Caspersen Rowing Center, operated by the Princeton National Rowing Association, will serve as the headquarters for the BIG EAST Championship, which will be conducted for the eighth time in 2011. The facility has hosted some of the highest-level regattas in the sport, including four Olympic Team Trials, the 2002-09 USRowing National Selection Regattas and the 2006 NCAA Championship.
“Our philosophy in awarding championship sites is to always provide for a positive and memorable experience for our student-athletes,” said BIG EAST Associate Commissioner for Olympic Sports James Siedliski. “With that in mind, we’re thrilled to be able to conduct our rowing championship at a world-class facility that will allow our student-athletes the chance to perform at their highest levels.”
“The Princeton National Rowing Association is excited that the BIG EAST Conference has chosen Mercer Lake and the Caspersen Rowing Center as the site for this year’s BIG EAST Championship,” said Princeton National Rowing Association Director Kristopher Grudt. “Mercer Lake is one of the finest rowing venues in the country and it is great to be able to bring this high caliber of competition to Mercer County. With the 2012 NCAA Women’s Rowing Championship and the 2012 Olympic Team Trials scheduled for Mercer Lake, it will be a great opportunity for the athletes to get race experience on this course.”
“We are tremendously excited to host the BIG EAST Rowing Championship at Mercer Lake for the first time,” said Mercer County executive Brian M. Hughes. “Mercer Lake is home to an Olympic training site that prepares our nation’s top rowers for competition on the world stage and we are eager to showcase the best of BIG EAST rowing in May.”
“The ECAC is thrilled to be a part of the BIG EAST Championship at Mercer Lake in 2011,” said ECAC Director of Rowing Gary Caldwell. “The PNRA and Mercer County have hosted the NCAA Championship, numerous national championships and intercollegiate and age group championships with incredibly high standards. We look forward to this, and many more opportunities to work together in the future.”
The BIG EAST has conducted its rowing championship annually since 2004. Previous championship sites have included Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass., Cooper River Park in Pennsauken, N.J., and Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn.