March 30, 2012
East Lansing, Mich. - Michigan State rowing officially kicks off its spring slate this Saturday, when the Spartans head to Columbus, Ohio to line up with both the host Buckeyes and archrival Michigan. The Spartans have an extra layer of confidence heading into the first race, thanks to unseasonably warm and unusually early weather that allowed them more outdoor training in February and March.
"The early start was really nice for us," said head coach Matt Weise. "Particularly those first days when we got back from Spring Break - its usually an adjustment to come back from the warm climate, but we didn't have that at all this year. I think our team has really enjoyed being able to train so early on the water in temperatures in February that we don't usually enjoy until later in the season.
Racing begins just after 7 am on Saturday morning in on the Scioto River at Griggs Reservoir in Columbus. MSU and the Wolverines face off in the first series of races. After a one-hour break mid-morning, the Spartans will race the host Buckeyes while Yale becomes Michigan's opponent in the second session.
The Spartans are ranked No. 11 in the CRCA poll this week, joining Michigan (9), Wisconsin (10), and Ohio State (12) in the top 20. Of the seven non-Big Ten teams MSU will race head-to-head in the regular season, the Spartans will see top-ranked Virginia, No. 5 (Stanford) and No. 6 (Southern California), and No. 15 (Clemson).
MSU returns five athletes from its Big Ten gold-winning crew from 2011: stroke Brianna Lakanen, seven-seat Breanne Walkowiak, four-seat Michelle Neuder (who will not row this weekend) and five-seat Nicki Bade. In addition, senior coxswain Amanda McGeachie is in her fourth season and owns three gold medals from the varsity eight event at the Big Ten Championships in her career.
Newcomer Kate Elbourne has earned a seat in the varsity eight for the first race, and Michelle Sosa, Brie-Ann Breton and Michelle Campbell all earned valuable experience in the second varsity last season. Sophomore Monica LaPointe has joined the varsity eight after a season in the novice eight a year ago; her older sister, Kellie, was a letterwinner and two-time Big Ten champion for the Spartans.
Race Schedule 3/31/2012
Ohio State/Yale; Michigan/Michigan State (early morning session)
Michigan/Yale; Ohio State/Michigan State (late morning session)
7:30 Michigan/Michigan State Varsity Eight
7:40 Ohio State/Yale Varsity Eight
7:50 Michigan/ Michigan State Second Varsity Eight
8:00 Ohio State/Yale Second Varsity Eight
8:10 Michigan/ Michigan State Varsity Four
8:20 Ohio State/ Yale Varsity Four
8:30 Michigan/ Michigan State Second Varsity Four
8:40 Ohio State/ Yale Second Varsity Four
8:50 Michigan/ Michigan State First Novice
9:00 Ohio State/ Yale First Novice
9:10 Ohio State/ Michigan/ Michigan State Third Varsity Four
9:20 Ohio State/Michigan/Michigan State Second Novice
10:20 Michigan/ Yale Varsity Eight
10:30 Michigan/ Yale Second Varsity Four
10:40 Michigan/ Yale Second Varsity Eight
10:50 Michigan/ Yale First Novice
11:00 Michigan/Yale Varsity Four
11:10 Ohio State/ Michigan/ Michigan State Third Varsity Four
11:20 Ohio State/ Michigan/ Michigan State Second Novice
11:30 Ohio State/Michigan State Varsity Four
11:40 Ohio State/ Michigan State First Novice
11:50 Ohio State/ Michigan State Second Varsity Eight
Noon Ohio State/ Michigan State Second Varsity Four
12:10 Ohio State/ Michigan State Varsity Eight