East Lansing, Mich. -- - Michigan State traveled to Bloomington, Ind. on Saturday to line up against Big Ten foes Iowa and Indiana in addition to Kansas, and split the Big Ten double dual to improve to 2-1 against Big Ten competition this season.
The Spartans, ranked 17th in this week's CRCA national poll, took on No. 14 Iowa in the morning, and fell to the Hawkeyes, 63-54. In the afternoon session, Michigan State rebounded with a solid 55-44 win over the No. 16 Hoosiers, with Kansas recording 20 points.
"The novices kind of ruled the day again and raced well all the way through," said head coach Matt Weise. "I really thought that our three NCAA boats made great progressions -- they really did a nice job of making adjustments after the morning session and were rewarded with their finishes in the afternoon. Our second eight and our varsity four stepped up in a way that I'm not sure we'd seen out of them yet this season, which continues to be encouraging. I think that the adjustments that our boats made today puts us in a good spot in terms of where we want to be before we host Minnesota and Wisconsin next week at home. We just have to make sure that in our preparation this week they keep progressing."
The first races in both sessions were the novice boats, who were impressive last weekend in their races against Michigan and Ohio State, recording victories over both crews. In the novice eight, the Spartans posted a pair of commanding open-water victories, defeating the Hawkeyes by more than 26 seconds in a time of 6:44.62. In the afternoon, MSU was 23 seconds ahead of second-place Kansas, with a margin over the Hoosiers of more than 27 seconds, crossing the finish line in a time of 6:54.80.
The second novice eight raced Iowa twice -- the morning session was timed as a 7:15.18 pace for the Spartans, and MSU increased the margin to more than 14 seconds in the afternoon session (7:19.30), with Iowa behind in a time of 7:33.72.
In the NCAA boats, the varsity eight put up a great fight against the No. 14 Hawkeyes, as Iowa crossed in a time of 6:30.06 and MSU was just two seats back (6:31.49). MSU came out in the afternoon session to earn a victory over both the Hoosiers and Jayhawks, posting a time of 6:28.80, the fastest time of any boat in any session on the day. The host Hoosiers were a length back (6:33.45) and Kansas was open water behind the field (6:41.75).
The second varsity eight fell to both other Big Ten schools -- MSU (6:56.16) was 15 seconds behind the Hawkeyes (6:56.16) in the morning, and about a length behind the Hoosiers in the afternoon (6:45.61-6:50.91), but had a half-length advantage on the Jayhawks at the finish line.
The varsity four split its races, posting a time of 7:36.30 in the afternoon to have open water over both Indiana and Kansas. In the morning, the Spartans (7:34.02) were just over eight seconds off the pace of the Hawkeyes.
The Spartans host next week's racing, taking on Minnesota and Wisconsin in a Big Ten Double Dual. MSU will take on both at Sleepy Hollow State Park in Laingsburg.
Big Ten Double Dual
MIchigan State vs. Iowa; MIchigan State vs6:45.61. Indiana, Kansas April 1, 2017 Bloomington, Ind. Lake Lemon
Saturday Morning: 1. Iowa 6:30.06; 2. Michigan State 6:31.49
Saturday Afternoon: 1. Michigan State 6:28.80; 2. Indiana 6:33.45; 3. Kansas 6:41.75
Second Varsity Eight:
Saturday Morning: 1. Iowa 6:40.68; 2. Michigan State 6:56.16
Saturday Afternoon: 1. Indiana; 2. Michigan State 6:50.91; 3. Kansas 6:52.88
Saturday Morning: 1. Iowa 7:25.38; 2. Michigan State 7:34.02
Saturday Afternoon: 1. Michigan State 7:36.30; 2. Indiana 7:49.26; 3. Kansas 7:52.30
Novice Eight:/ Third Varsity Eight
Saturday Morning: 1. Michigan State 6:44.62; 2. Iowa 7:10.75
Saturday Afternoon: 1. Michigan State 6:54.80; 2. Kansas 7:18.56; 3. Indiana 7:22.40
Second Novice Eight:
Saturday Morning: 1. Michigan State 7:15.18; 2. Iowa 7:21.78
Saturday Afternoon: 1. Michigan State 7:19.30; 2. Iowa 7:33.72