May 15, 2012
The Michigan State rowing program has earned a berth in the NCAA National Championship Regatta, which will be held May 25-27 in on Lake Mercer in West Windsor, NJ. The 16-team field was announced by the NCAA Selection Committee on Tuesday afternoon, and the Spartans will be rowing in the sport's National Championship event for the 14th time in its 15 varsity seasons. MSU is one of four teams representing the Big Ten Conference (Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan).
"We are excited about being selected for the NCAA Championships again - it is recognition of our hard work against a challenging schedule throughout the season," said head coach Matt Weise, who is a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year and has is bringing his team to the NCAA regatta for the seventh time in his eight-year tenure. "We left Big Tens a little unsatisfied, and this is our opportunity to redeem ourselves a bit. We look forward to the three days of racing against the top programs in the country and see how we match up against them."
Each Division I team selected to the field is required to field two boats of eight rowers and one boat of four rowers. This is the third season in which the field will feature 16 full teams. Michigan State has finished sixth three times, (most recently in 2008 and 2009) at the NCAA's, which is its best team finish; the Spartans were seventh last season and its varsity eight finished a program-best sixth.
Michigan State is ranked 14th as a team in the most recent CRCA poll, released May 2. The bid is the Spartans' 10th full- team bid in the last 11 seasons; the only year in which the team did not qualify for the National Regatta was in 2007, which is the only year that the Spartans did not qualify since becoming a varsity sport in 1998. MSU has now received 12 team bids and received at-large berths for their varsity eight boat in both 1998 and 2001.
Michigan State was selected to the field on the strength of a fine regular season in which it rowed against some of the top
competition in the country. The Spartans finished fourth as a team at the Big Ten Championships on May 13.