Competing at two different sites against quality competition, the Spartan novice eights and varsity eight all turned in impressive performances on Saturday.
The NCAA boats -- the varsity eight, second varsity eight, and varsity four -- all took on a pair of top-10 crews in Princeton, NJ against the Tigers and Brown. The pair of novice eights raced on Belleville Lake against Michigan, Ohio State, Radcliffe, and Yale.
The best result for the No. 20 Spartans in New Jersey came in the varsity eight -- No. 10 Princeton won the race in a time of 6:28.5, No. 5 Brown was a half-length behind in a time of 6:30.9, and MSU was a seat behind the Bears, clocked in 6:31.5, less than six-tenths of a second off their pace.
"We thought that the key for today was how we made adjustments after last night's racing at Rutgers," said head coach Matt Weise. "We saw a lot of poise and execution from our varsity eight -- they had just a great race all-around, and that's some stiff competition. Unfortunately, the adjustments necessary didn't come together in the second eight -- but both there and in the four, these races helped identify some things that we can work on when we get back to practice this week."
In Ann Arbor, the Spartan novices both had quality outings. The first novice eight held an 11-second margin over Michigan (7:07.53-7:18.9), and another length and a half behind the Wolverines was the novice boat from Radcliffe. In the afternoon session, Yale took the top spot (6:57.42), Michigan State was in second (7:02.73) and Michigan was third, closing the margin on the morning race and finishing in a time of 7:05.18.
The second novice eight was second behind Ohio State by less than a half a second in the morning race, as OSU was clocked in 7:35.94 and MSU just 0.44 seconds back in 7:36.36. Michigan was open water behind the two other crews, in a time of 7:48.11. IN the afternoon, the Spartans got their revenge, recording a time of 7:31.94, open water over the rest of the field -- the Buckeyes timed in at 7:42.09, and Michigan about a half a length back in a time of 7:44.49.
"'The Novices raced well today," said novice coach Katie Bitz. "The second novice eight had a close race in the morning and came back in the afternoon against the same two crews and won with a commanding lead that they continued to increase throughout the race. It was a great improvement from morning to afternoon for such a young crew. The first novice eight raced well against two experienced crews in the afternoon and put together their first sprint in the last 500m to edge out the Wolverines, but not quite enough to get Yale. Both crews have shown improvement from the Cardinal Invite, and we are ready to get back to work this week."
The Spartan crews will be reunited at one site next weekend, traveling to Bloomington, Indiana where they will take on Iowa in the morning and Kansas in addition to host Indiana in the afternoon. Racing begins at 9 am Saturday morning.
MSU NCAA Boats at No. 10 Princeton with No. 5 Brown
Varsity Eight: Princeton 6:28.5; Brown 6:30.9; Michigan State 6:31.5
Second Varsity Eight: Princeton 6:45.9; Brown 6:48.6; Michigan State 7:10.7
Varsity Four: Princeton 7:36.0; Brown 7:38.7; Michigan State 8:03.6
MSU Novice Eights at Michigan with Ohio State, Radcliffe, Yale
Novice Eight: :
Morning: Michigan State 7:07.53; Michigan 7:18.9; Radcliffe 7:25.19;
Afternoon: Yale 6:57.42; Michigan State 7:02.73; Michigan 7:05.18
Second Novice Eight:
Morning: Ohio State 7:35.94; Michigan State 7:36.36; Michigan 7:48.11;
Afternoon: Michigan State 7:31.94; Ohio State 7:42.09; Michigan 7:44.49