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Rowing Completes Solid Opening Weekend

March 18, 2018

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Michigan State rowing wrapped up its first race of the season, competing in the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational hosted by the University of Louisville.

The regatta, which took place on Saturday and Sunday, saw the Spartans compete against top competition in the nation including five teams that were ranked in the top-25 in the final CRCA poll of 2017.

The Spartans raced eight boats on Sunday, with the top finisher being the third varsity eight boat which placed second with a time of 6:20.229, beating Virginia by open water (6:27.471).

“We really wanted to go into the day trying to find a base pace and figure out how we are going to be consistent and I think most of our crews did that,” said head coach Matt Weise. “We struggled with the conditions as it was a pretty good current that we were rowing with and then there was a tailwind. The conditions were really fast and we had to deal with the water, so we were seconds away just with the conditions, not with the intensity. Now they just need to learn how to row better in a tailwind, which is something that we can work on.”

The varsity eight finished third on the day, clocking a time of 6:08.218 behind first place finisher and Big Ten foe Michigan (5:57.600) and second place Virginia (6:01.652). The second varsity eight also finished third in its race with a time of 6:20.088.  

“The V8’s really felt like they were kind of chasing the water, they were a little bit frantic and were just trying to lock into those conditions. They pulled an okay time, but we were hoping they’d be a little closer to Michigan and Virginia,” added Weise. “The 2v8’s were maybe the more consistent of the two crews and were able to find a little better base speed today. They are gaining confidence in just how fast they can go and we’re going to continue to try to get them to push that speed. Overall it was a good weekend, one that we can build on.”

The Spartan varsity four recorded a fourth-place finish on the morning, clocking a time of 7:05.459. MSU’s second varsity four also finished fourth in its race with a time of 7:04.750, defeating fifth place Tennessee who came in at 7:22.378.

“Overall it was a great way to begin the season in the four’s. They progressed, had some good wins, and also learned a lot over the weekend,” said the varsity four coach Samantha Sarff. “They’re a young group with a tremendous amount of potential. We have a lot to build off of from these races as we head into a short week of training before heading to New Jersey to face Harvard and Yale where we expect to see even more progressions.”

MSU’s novice eight had a strong day on the water, placing second (6:20.229) just six seats behind winner Virginia who clocked a time of 6:17.355. The second novice eight earned a third place finish with a time of 6:54.721.

“Both of our novice crews made even more progress in the final race of the weekend. It was nice to see improvements every time they raced,” said novice coach Liz England. “I look forward to seeing what progress they can make before next week’s Big Ten/Ivy League duel.”

Michigan State will head to Camden, N.J. next weekend to race in a duel against Harvard and Yale.

Cardinal Invite



Varsity Eight:

1. Michigan 5:57.600; 2. Virginia 6:01.652; 3. Michigan State 6:08.218; 4. Tennessee 6:12.006

Second Varsity Eight:

1. Michigan 6:06.166; 2. Virginia 6:15.556; 3. Michigan State 6:20.088; 4. Tennessee 6:24.262

Third Varsity Eight

1. Yale 6:23.843; 2. Clemson 6:47.930; 3. Michigan State (2N8) 6:54.721; 4. Tennessee (4v8) 7:04.142; 5. Tennessee (5v8) 7:23.442

Varsity Four:

1. Virginia 6:43.615; 2. Michigan 6:45.431; 3. Tennessee 6:54.115; 4. Michigan State 7:05.459

Second Varsity Four:

1. Yale 6:48.718; 2. Michigan 6:51.326; 3. Virginia 6:59.854; 4. Tennessee 6:54.115; 4. Michigan State 7:05.459; 5. Tennessee 7:22.378

Novice Eight

1. Virginia 6:17.355; 2. Michigan State 6:20.229; 3. Virginia (F8) 6:27.471; 4. Tennessee 6:27.833; 5. Michigan 6:39.563

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