Spartans Ninth at NCAAs
May 30, 2010
Rancho Cordova, Calif. - Michigan State wrapped up competition at the 2010 NCAA Championships on Sunday afternoon, with its varsity eight winning the petite final and the team finishing ninth of the 16 teams. Both the varsity eight and second varsity performed ahead of their seedings.
"I'm really proud of our two eights this weekend," noted head coach Matt Weise. "We are going to lose six really good seniors, but if you look at our NCAA lineup, there's a lot of juniors and sophomores, too. This was a learning experience, and something we can build on as we go forward."
MSU's varsity eight, which had some bad luck in ending up in a semifinal heat with the three highest-ranked varsity eights on Saturday, wanted to finish the championship on a strong note, and did just that by building a strong raceplan that saw them build on their lead in each 500 and win the race by an open-water margin over second-place Brown. The Spartans, which were seeded seventh in the pre-Championship rankings, finish seventh for the second straight season.
"It was important to us to go out with a strong finish," admitted senior five-seat Emily Regan, the Big Ten Athlete of the Year. "We weren't able to advance into the grand final, but a lot of that had to do with us not having a good Friday heat and ending up with Yale, Cal, and Virginia. We wanted to have a fast race, and post not only a win, but a convincing win."
"The varsity eight had an outstanding race today, and were out to prove that they were a good crew. They were faster than two of the boats in the grand final, which isn't uncommon - lots of times, there's one or two crews in the petite final that could have been in the grand final had things worked out a little differently. We learned that we weren't as fast as Cal, Virginia, or Yale - but Yale and Virginia went 1-2 in the grand final, too. But I think we did show that we were right in that next pack of really good crews."
The second varsity eight was third in the petite final, bettering its seed of 14th coming into the championship. A furious push in the final 650 meters pulled the Spartans into third place at the finish line, moving past Washington and nearly catching Washington. MSU was clocked in a time of 6:38.11.
"The 2V has kind of been our enigma all season, but really put together a good weekend, a confidence-building weekend," noted Weise. " We got them in a place where they fought, and finally saw the results of putting it all together. I'm proud of them for sticking to it."
MSU's varsity four was 12th overall, finishing sixth in the petite final. Princeton and Stanford were the pace-setters for the race all the way down the course, battling back and forth; the Tigers emerged the petite winner in a time of 7:19.52. MSU was clocked in 7:32.88.
In all, MSU loses six seniors, three from its varsity boat (stroke Michelle Mussett, five-seat Emily Regan, and bow seat Victoria Woodard) and three others from its 2V (coxswain Emilie Gross, stroke Danica Bevan, and seven seat Megan Kursick). Four juniors and two sophomores remain in the varsity eight, while the 2V is four sophomores, one junior, and one senior returning. All five athletes in the varsity four are underclassmen, and only coxswain Alyse Egner is a junior. All four rowers are sophomores.
MSU concludes its season with a second-place Big Ten finish, second-place Central Sprints finish, and ninth-place finish at NCAAs.
NCAA National Championship Regatta - Day Three Results TEAM STANDINGS:
1) Virginia 87; 2) Cal 82; 3) Princeton 76 4) Stanford 75; 5) Brown 71; 6) Yale 66; 7) Wisconsin 55; 8) USC 52; 9) Michigan State 51; 10) Washington 43; 11) Michigan 43; 12) UCLA 31; 13) Washington State 29; 14) Ohio State 22; 15) Clemson 22; 16) Tennessee 21
SECOND VARSITY EIGHT:
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