Another Triumphant Race Day For Michigan State Women's Crew
Oct. 19, 2003
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State women's crew has established a victorious start to the 2003-2004 season, and Spartan performances in races throughout the day at The Head of the Grand on Sunday, Oct. 19 were no exception to the successful foundation that has been laid.
MSU hosted the regatta at Grand River Park, where it faced several opponents, including Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Northern Michigan University and Michigan Technological University.
The Head of the Grand, which entails a 3,500 km (2.0-mile) racecourse, presented novices with their first opportunity to compete and the Spartans seized first and second places among the nine boats entered in the novice eight event.
MSU head coach Bebe Bryans was pleased with the novice showing.
"The novice boats rowed well and that is what we were hoping for," said Bryans. "For their first race, they looked great, so that was a good way to start."
Bryans acknowledged three factors that are essential to success for new rowers.
"Novices need to work on composure, pulling really hard the whole time and staying focused inside of the boat," said Bryans. "Those are the three things that are the hardest to do when you are first learning because there is so much going on and there are so many distractions, but any one of those distractions can wreck the boat."
MSU varsity boats also preformed exceptionally well. The Spartans top flight boats claimed first through fourth place in the open four event, as well as first and second place in the open eight event.
"They are rowing pretty well," said Bryans. "They are on track with most of our technical goals, but they just have to maintain that."
Members of the varsity boats approached their races with very specific goals in mind and they were fairly successful in achieving those goals. Rowers aimed to maintain a consistent split, that is, to use an equal amount of time to row each stroke.
"They are trying to work on being very consistent from one minute of the race to the next," explained Bryans. "Our goal was to have no more than 3 seconds difference in the split time of any one-minute segment, but they weren't quite on that. It wasn't bad, it wasn't the greatest, but it is coming."
Although MSU athletes and coaches have clearly identified the aspects of each boat that require attention, the Spartans' strengths unquestionably outweigh their weaknesses, as evidenced by MSU's race day performances at The Head of the Grand and all performances in competitions thus far in the new season.
"As a whole, they have a training edge that is ahead of where they are in the season, and that is what we are fighting to keep," Bryans said.
The Pink Ribbon Crew took the water to race an eight in their own event at The Head of the Grand. Pink Ribbon Crew members are breast cancer survivors who learned to row during the past year, as members of MSU's We Can Row Program.
After the race, Spartans gathered to honor Pink Ribbon Crew in a boat christening ceremony. MSU crew altered the classic "GO GREEN! GO WHITE!" cheer, with a resounding chorus of "GO GREEN, GO PINK!" in tribute to the survivors.
Next, MSU will travel to Elkhart, Ind., for the Head of the Elk regatta on Sunday, Oct. 26.
For more information about Spartan rowing, visit http://www.msucrew.com.
Results are as follows for the events in which MSU women's crew competed: W Open 4+
1. MSU C 12:56
2. MSU B 13:00
3. MSU A 13:14
4. MSU D 13:46
5. GV A 13:52
6. GV B 14:55
THERE WERE 11 BOATS IN THE RACE
W Novice 8 +
1. MSU A 13:16
2. MSU B 13:54
3. MSU CLUB A 14:03
4. GV A 14:04
5. EMU A 14:07
THERE WERE NINE BOATS IN THE RACE
W Open 8 +
1. MSU A 11:27
2. MSU B 11:52
3. EMU A 12:05
4. MSU C 12:16
5. GV A 12:29
6. EMU B 12:36
THERE WERE TEN BOATS IN THE RACE
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