May 13, 2012
Indianapolis, Ind. - It was a tough day for the Michigan State rowing team at the 2012 Big Ten Championships, as the varsity eight lost out on a medal by a bowball and the team finished in fourth place overall.
MSU, the four-time defending varsity eight champion, saw Michigan break its four-year stranglehold on the varsity eight gold medal. The Wolverines claimed the overall team title, in addition to gold medals in both the varsity eight and second varsity eight. Each of the Wolverine boats medaled on the day.
"I think we got a little too worried about what other boats were doing instead of worrying about following the race plan and doing what we were supposed to be doing," analyzed head coach Matt Weise. "When you worry about other people instead of yourself, you just don't go as fast. It's a tough day to learn that lesson. "
The seedings projected the Spartans to finish fourth; the varsity eight, (4th) was the only boat to finish exactly where it was seeded, while the varsity four (seeded fifth, finished fourth) , and second novice eight (seeded sixth, finished fourth) were the two boats to finish ahead of their seeding. The second varsity eight and second varsity four (both seeded fourth), and novice eight (seeded fifth) all finished one spot behind their seeding.
In the varsity eight race, MSU and Wisconsin were chasing Michigan and Ohio State down the course, as the Wolverines eventually claimed a victory of just over a length over the defending Big Ten Champion Buckeyes. MSU and the Badgers battled it out at the sprint, with Wisconsin claiming third place by just over two-tenths of one second (:00.261) to get the bronze.
In the second varsity race, MSU was 21 seconds back of champion Michigan, and were more than 10 seconds behind fourth-place Minnesota. In the varsity four, the second-seeded Gophers struggled, opening the door for Wisconsin, Michigan, and Michigan State to finish ahead of Minnesota's top-seeded boat on the day. In the second four, MSU finished fifth.
In the novice boats, MSU's first eight was sixth, as second-seeded Ohio State beat Wisconsin by open water at the finish. The Badgers got their only gold of the day in the second novice race, as MSU finished two slots ahead of its six seed behind the Badgers, Ohio State, and Michigan.
MSU must carefully follow the results from other championship events, and keep fingers crossed until the NCAA Championship selection show on Tuesday, May 15. MSU has been selected to 12 of the last 13 NCAA Championship events, and finished seventh at last year's NCAA Regatta.
Senior varsity eight coxswain Amanda McGeachie was named First Team All-Big Ten, while classmate Michelle Neuder was a Second Team Selection. Senior Joscelyn Smith was the Spartans' Sportsmanship Award nominee.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS
1. Michigan (147)
2. Ohio State (145)
3. Wisconsin (122)
4. Michigan State (80)
5. Minnesota (77)
6. Indiana (44)
7. Iowa (29)