May 27, 2012
West Windsor, NJ - Michigan State completed the NCAA Championship on Sunday with some strong racing, but without boats in the grand or petite finals, had little chance for a high finish and completed the championship in 16th place overall. The University of Virginia captured both the varsity eight and overall team championships.
"Today was the best day of racing for us, by far," said head coach Matt Weise. "We really needed to be better the first two days, though, so that we could be racing with some more on the line today. When we spoke after the races today, we talked about using this experience to have a good summer and better training. We need to use it to set goals for next year."
Weather was a factor on Championship Sunday- racing began with early overcast skies which turned into a steady rain and storm rolling into the area by the midpoint of the racing schedule. Midway through the morning schedule, competition was halted for about 90 minutes to allow for the storm to pass through - and once it did, the sun provided warm, humid conditions for the remainder of the schedule.
MSU's varsity four finished third in the third-level final, as much of the race was contested with four crews nearly straight across. USC, Brown, and Stanford traded moves with the Spartans down the course, and the final sprint was a barnburner - the Women of Troy crossed the line in 7:32.59, while Brown (7:33.35) edged the Spartans at the line by a half-second (MSU's time was 7:33.95). Stanford was three seats back on the rest of the pack, in a time of 7:35.33.
MSU's third-level final was the last race which got in before the lengthy weather delay. It was another race which was a close battle for the entire 2,000 meters. Notre Dame had a lead for much of the race, but never anything much larger than a half length as the teams came down the course. MSU fought to move on second-place Cornell, but lost some ground in the third 500, which gave them an uphill battle in the final sprint. The Spartans fought their way back into it, however going stroke-for-stroke with two Ivy crews (Harvard and Cornell) as they tried to catch Notre Dame. At the end, Notre Dame got the victory, in a time of 6:47.00. About two seats back, three crews had to wait for a results review to see that just three tenths of a second separated the other three boats in the race - The Spartans (6:49.0) were a tenth of a second behind Cornell (6:48.90), and two-tenths ahead of Harvard, giving them third in the race.
The third-level final in the varsity eight race featured some great racing as well. Notre Dame had the early lead, with defending National Champion Brown, Wisconsin, and the Spartans all level at the 500-meter mark. Wisconsin was moving in the second 500, but still had just a seat lead on MSU and Brown as the Irish fell off. The Badgers established a three-seat lead on the rest of the pack by the 1000 meter mark, but the remaining three crews were not giving up much as they came across the line even.
In the third 500, Wisconsin held on and Brown staked a three-seat lead over MSU and Notre Dame as the teams battled for positioning for the final sprint. The Spartans moved on Brown as they bore down on the 1750 mark and sprinted over the remainder of the course; at the finish, MSU had moved more than two seats ahead of Brown, two seats behind the Badgers as they crossed the line.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS:
(1) Virginia 87; (2) Michigan 82; (3) California 78; (4) Princeton 77; (5) Ohio State 67; (6) USC 66; (7) Washington 62; (8) UCLA 62; (9) Stanford 40; (10) Yale 38; (11) Wisconsin 34; (12)Harvard 32; (13) Cornell 31; (14) Brown 25; (15) Notre Dame 20; (16) Michigan State 15
Grand Final: ; (1) Virginia 6:18.72; (2) Michigan 6:22.09; (3) USC 6:25.06; (4) Princeton 6:25.90; (5) Cal 6:27.19; (6) Washington 6:29.11
Petite Final: ; (1) UCLA 6:28.49; (2) Stanford 6:29.86; (3) Harvard 6:29.89; (4) Ohio State 6:32.69; (5) Cornell 6:33.86; (6) Yale 6:39.75
Third-Level Final Final: ; (1) Wisconsin 6:34.67; (2) Michigan State 6:36.10; (3) Brown 6:38.32; (4) Notre Dame 6:40.33
Second Varsity Eight
Grand Final: ; (1) Michigan 6:37.04; (2) Ohio State 6:38.94; (3) Cal 6:40.85; (4) Princeton 6:42.61; (5) Virginia 6:44.97; (6) UCLA 7:10.40
Petite Final: ; (1) USC 6:42.97; (2)Washington 6:43.26; (3) Brown 6:45.41; (4) Wisconsin 6:45.81; (5) Stanford 6:46.64 (6) Yale 6:47.58
Third-Level Final Final: ; (1) Notre Dame 6:47.00; (2) Cornell 6:48.90; (3) Michigan State 6:49.00; (4) Harvard 6:49.20
Grand Final: ; (1) Ohio State 7:13.09; (2) Virginia 7:15.18; (3) California 7:21.15; (4) Yale 7:23.53; (5) Princeton 7:26.23; (6) Washington 7:29.20
Petite Final: ; (1) UCLA 7:23.89; (2) Notre Dame 7:25.35; (3) Wisconsin 7:25.57; (4) Cornell 7:26.48; (5) Harvard 7:27.26; (6) Michigan 7:33.75
Third-Level Final Final: ; (1) USC 7:32.59; (2) Brown 7:33.35; (3) Michgan State 7:33.95; (4) Stanford 7:35.33