WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Aug. 29, 2017 — West Liberty University performed well in the Saturday, Aug. 26 Dragon Boat Race held at Wheeling’s Heritage Port.
An annual benefit for The King’s Daughters Child Care Center, the boat race places volunteer teams of rowers against each other in heats held from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
“The Topp-Oars did very well at the third annual Dragon Boat Race this past Saturday. We came in 6th place overall out of 26 teams. We also took 1st place in the Education Division and were presented with a trophy, actually a wooden oar, that is pretty cool and now on display in the alumni and development office,” explained Ron Witt, executive director of Alumni and Community Relations.
“We actually won our first two heats against some pretty good competition. The top 12 teams advanced to the afternoon heats. This was our third and final heat and our best time of the day, which was good enough for 6th place overall. I’m grateful to our team and everyone who participated in this worthy event.”
WLU participants included many employees, a few students, one alumna and an employee’s spouse and are listed below: Stephanie Bradley, Amy Burkle, Eric Burkle, Greg Chase, Mary Ann Edwards, Brett Ervin, Brian Fitzpatrick, Evan French and Tori Gilbert, Matt Harder, Ben Howlett, Jason Koegler, Blake Lee, Ryan McCullough, Alumna Ashlea Minch, Herb Minch, Angela Rehbein, Liz Richter, Michele Sweeney, Rick West and Ron Witt.
It was a perfect day for rowing on the river and everyone enjoyed the effort, according to Witt.
With origins dating back 2,300 years, dragon boat racing is a fun event featuring adrenaline-pumping action. Teams rave about the excitement, friendly competition and community spirit surrounding the sport, according to dragonboatwheeling.com.
There are 20 people on a team and each plays a specific role. They sit next to each other, and against the gunnel to balance the boat as they paddle.
The strokers occupy the front three seats of the boat, while the fourth seat is a transition place where, ideally, the paddlers have rhythm and power.
Then, seats four, five, and six consist of the “engine room,” where the largest and strongest team members sit.
The last four rows of a dragon boat are filled with strong paddlers who are also typically shorter and able to paddle faster. Paddlers at this location in the dragon boat are considered “rockets,” because the water is moving faster to them, from the first 14 seats since they’re scooping water back. The drummer plays the rhythm for most of the boat.
The King’s Daughters Child Care Center, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization that provides licensed childcare services located in Wheeling.