May 16, 2010
Oak Ridge, Tenn. - Michigan State finished third overall and second in the Central Region at the 2010 South/Central Sprints, hosted by the University of Tennessee on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The Spartan varsity eight finished second to Virginia in the Grand Final, and the varsity four also earned a medal with a third-place finish.
The Spartans finished with 387 total points, good for second behind Wisconsin (406) in the Central Region and behind both the Badgers and Virginia (451 points) overall. The Spartans matched their finish from a season ago, when it also finished second and third. MSU won the Central region in 2008, giving the Spartans an impressive three-season run in this event, in its last season competing. In future seasons, the Big Ten Championships will be contested on the second weekend in May.
"We saw some improvement in our varsity four this weekend, which is great," noted head coach Matt Weise. "The varsity boat is a little disappointed, but motivated to improve, so there's something to take from that as well. Overall, we got some great efforts, which helped us to a good team finish. Most importantly, we know what we have to work on for our nationals, which is the biggest stage. I expect that this weekend's performances will set the table for a good final two weeks of training."
The varsity eight was just over a length back from Virginia at the finish, as the Cavaliers captured the gold with a 6:23.70 time, good enough to secure the overall team title as well. MSU was clocked at 6:28:47, followed by Clemson, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Tennessee.
MSU's varsity four, which finished second at Big Tens two weeks ago, turned in another strong performance to place third in the Grand Final on Sunday. The Spartans was about a half length behind Wisconsin, which was a length back on Virginia at the finish line.
The Spartan second varsity rebounded from a tough Saturday in the semis, finishing fifth, to win the Petite Final by open water. The Spartans, clocked in 6:49.30, were 7.2 seconds ahead of Iowa, which had open water over Texas, Minnesota, Notre Dame, and UCF.
The novices finished fifth in the Grand Final. The boat was third at Big Tens behind Wisconsin and Michigan, and finished behind both those boats, as well as Virginia and Ohio State. MSU was less than two seconds behind fourth-place Michigan and five behind Ohio State, while Wisconsin won the race in 6:44.38, edging Virginia by a bowball (6:44.44)
The open four was fourth in the petite final, a race won by Michigan (7:36.59). Kansas and Texas were ahead of the Spartans at the finish.
Michigan State now awaits the NCAA Selection announcement on Tuesday. The Spartans expect to be selected to the 16-team field for the third straight season and 12th time in 13 varsity seasons overall. MSU has finished sixth as a team at the last two NCAA Championship regattas.