May 3, 2014
East Lansing, Mich. - - Michigan State lost both ends of a double-dual on Saturday morning in Ann Arbor, falling to both No. 3 Ohio State and No. 9 Michigan by identical 45-27 scores.
However, with strong racing and some strong results against a pair of top-10 crews, the Spartans continue to progress as they get closer to the Big Ten Championships. With both the dual season as well as exam week behind the team, the sole focus becomes rowing as the team has two weeks to focus solely on improving in preparation for the May 18 B1G Championships on Eagle Creek Reservoir in Indianapolis.
I thought that we started off the day by racing OSU really well," said head coach Matt Weise. "I thought that maybe we had a bit of regression in the second half of our schedule today when we raced Michigan. I think that we were dealing with both some nerves, and the conditions were also getting worse over the course of the day. I think that against Michigan, we probably were worrying more about getting a result instead of sticking to the process. We raced so well in the morning, and I think that we came out in the afternoon wanting to prove ourselves, and that backfired on us a little bit. Michigan also handled the conditions a little bit better than we did - I think that our youth showed a little bit, both in how we handled the emotion and the physical conditions."
The varsity eight had a strong start to the day for MSU, holding a lead on the third-ranked Buckeyes at the 1000-meter mark before OSU eventually moved back through the Spartans and besting the Green and White by about three seats of open water. MSU crossed the line in 6:44.48, then in the second race of the day, was 7.74 seconds behind the host Wolverines. The second varsity eight was 15.38 seconds behind the Buckeyes, but just 14.32 behind Michigan.
In the novice boats, the Spartans posted a victory over the Buckeyes by nearly a full length of open water (7:31.70 - 7:40.14), then was nipped by the Wolverines by just 1.21 seconds in their second race of the day (8:05.66 - 8:06.87). The second novice eight was in a three-boat race with the two Big Ten rivals in both sessions, finishing second behind Michigan (7:47.82) in the morning race, 3.94 seconds behind the Wolverines but nearly three seconds ahead of OSU; when the teams lined up again in the final race of the day, the Wolverines finished first in a time of 8:35.32, with OSU second (8:40.98) and MSU third (8:56.97). The differences in times between the first and second sessions were better than 30 seconds as the conditions deteriorated throughout the raceday.
MSU's varsity four was the lone boat to earn a victory, as the Spartans (8:13.19) beat Michigan by nearly 10 seconds in the afternoon, and was 6.94 seconds behind Ohio State (7:33.40). The second four was 6.54 seconds behind the third-ranked Buckeyes (7:40.40) in the morning, and 25 seconds behind the Wolverines (8:34.81) in the afternoon.