This weekend, Michigan couldn’t find its rhythm.
The fifth-ranked Wolverines experienced mixed results against No. 1 Washington and No. 6 Ohio State at their regatta in Las Vegas.
The closest race of the day was in the 2V8 category. While Michigan was solidly in second place for most of the race, the Buckeyes became a threat in the final 750 meters. Powering through the sprint, Ohio State ended the race in a photo finish with the Huskies coming in first. The Wolverines edged out the Buckeyes by 0.08 seconds to claim second.
Michigan’s only victory came in the 1V4 category in which it beat out Washington by two seconds and Ohio State by 12.
The 1V8 came in third, crossing the finish line with open water separating it from its competition — 10 seconds behind Washington and six seconds behind the Buckeyes.
The 1V8 came off of the line strong, rowing a powerful start — a strength of the program. Trouble came after the first 500 meters when the boat didn’t settle to its typical base pace.
“Our 1V8 struggled to establish a good rhythm,” said Michigan coach Mark Rothstein. “They just really lost the race in the middle thousand and wasn’t able to get back in terms of Ohio State or Washington.”
In the last 500 meters, the Wolverines gained a few seats, but it wasn’t enough to get them out of third.
This wasn’t their first matchup against the Buckeyes. The two faced off last weekend in Columbus, where Michigan fell to its rival by a much smaller margin. The boat this weekend wasn’t entirely the same as the one that came in behind Ohio State last weekend. Rothstein opted to switch two rowers from the lineup possibly accounting for the lack of rhythm this weekend.
“I think it was changes in the lineup and not really getting a lot of time to practice base pace in that lineup,” said senior Caroline Hendershot. “I think that it was still a really good race for the short amount of time that we’ve been together in that lineup from stern to bow.”
And the changes are far from over.
“The lineups will continue to evolve over the next couple weeks,” Rothstein said. “We’ll see where they land but I think we have a lot of depth and a lot of parity so a lot of possibilities for lineups which is a good thing.”
Added Hendershot: “Coming away from a race can be hard if you don’t know what to work on. I think all of us understand that we have a really good start and a really good finish and it’s that middle thousand (meters) base pace that we’re really trying to find.”