April 11, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The No. 5 Michigan State rowing program continued its season with a strong showing at the Big Ten Double Dual, held on Belleville Lake in Belleville, Mich., on Saturday. The Spartans topped Wisconsin, 39-30, in the morning session and Iowa, 44-25, in the afternoon session, in the double-dual format.
"We raced well today, but this early in the season, there is always room for improvement; technically we can get better," head coach Matt Weise said. "I thought that our boats did a great job of staying aggressive today. For me it was nice to see how we would behave on the water with other teams that are really close to where we are, and I though that we handled ourselves well."
In the morning session against Wisconsin, MSU started the competition by winning the second novice eight race with a time of 7:27.61, just 0.45 ahead of Wisconsin, scoring two team points. The Badgers won the next three races, the novice eight, the second varsity four and the varsity four, making the score 15-9 in favor of Wisconsin heading into both varsity eight races.
MSU won the second varsity eight race with a time of 6:49.31, topping Wisconsin by a margin of 2.34 seconds, knotting the score at 21. In the decisive varsity eight race, the Spartans won by 6.56 seconds, claiming the 18 team points and earning the win over the Badgers, 39-30.
MSU was equally impressive in the afternoon against Iowa. The Spartans won every race over the Hawkeyes with the exception of the second varsity four. MSU started the morning by claiming six points as both novice eight boats topped Iowa. The second novice eight clocked in at 7:28.79, which was 6.71 seconds faster than Iowa. The first novice eight followed suit by earning a 4.07 second victory with a time of 7:02.67.
After losing the second varsity four race, the Spartans would rally to win each of the NCAA races. The first varsity four dominated its Hawkeye counterpart, clocking in 20.68 seconds faster at 7:33.39. That time was the fastest by any varsity four boat on the day.
The Spartans' second varsity eight gave MSU some breathing room over the Hawkeyes, winning the race by open water with a time of 6:45.41. With a nine-point edge heading into the varsity eight race, MSU closed the door on the Hawkeyes, winning the race with a time of 6:43.45. The 18 team points from the race made the final score 44-25.
The Spartans will return to action as they travel to Columbus, Ohio for a five-team meet that will include teams from Ohio State, Oregon State, Washington and Bucknell. The meet is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.