EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State crew's varsity 8 boat outlasted a strong field of six boats in the finals and recorded a 4.4-second victory in the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship today in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
The Spartans, who posted the fastest qualifying time for the finals, beat second place George Washington and had nearly a 10-second edge on third-place Miami. Day-long rain showers stopped just before race time and yielded fair rowing conditions.
"I am very pleased that they won," head coach Bebe Bryans said, "but I'm most proud of the steps they made getting there today. We were very competitive and ran the race plan very well. I think we showed that we learned something in San Diego (two weeks ago, when MSU finished second)."
The Spartan varsity 8 boat now has a 4-0 record in dual races and has finished first or second in each of the three multi-school regattas it has entered this spring, tremendous success for a program in its first year as a varsity sport.
"Every week we go out with the same intention, and that is to get better," Bryans said. "They are doing it at an amazing - even alarming - rate. They have put themselves in a position to earn an NCAA berth with some wins the rest of the season."
Michigan State returns to action next weekend, April 25-26, at the Midwest Sprints in Madison, Wis.
Varsity 8 Finals 1. Michigan State 6:26.8 2. George Washington 6:31.2 3. Miami (FL) 6:35.2 4. North Carolina 6:37.1 5. Purdue 6:46.2 6. Central Florida 6:55.8