Over the weekend, the Michigan rowing team was dominant.
Michigan was so dominant, in fact, that none of its boats lost a race. The sixth-ranked Wolverines swept three ACC opponents — including two ranked teams — on Lake Monticello in Virginia. Michigan dispatched No. 10 Virginia during morning races and defeated No. 17 Syracuse along with Duke during the afternoon session of racing. The wins provided a promising start to the spring season.
“Any time you can win races against really good programs like we raced today, that’s a good thing,” said Michigan coach Mark Rothstein. “We were pleased to be able to come away with some really good victories, and we’re excited to get faster, grow and improve.”
Both varsity eight boats contributed to the weekend’s highlights. The first varsity eight beat Virginia by 7.3 seconds with a time of 6:30.5, then came back and topped Syracuse by 4.3 seconds and Duke in the afternoon, timing 6:26.5.
The second varsity eight boat also won both its races, although they were much closer than the first eight’s. After quickly beating the Cavaliers in 6:36.0 by 4.7 seconds, the Wolverines inched ahead of the Blue Devils in the afternoon race in 6:35.3, by a mere eight-tenths of a second.
Additionally, the first varsity four continued undefeated as it won by more than 10 seconds in the morning (7:18.6) and more than seven seconds in the afternoon (7:24.2).
The second varsity four also won both its races, with a close finish in 7:23.6 by 4.2 seconds and a comfortable win in 7:33.4 by 11.8 seconds. The third varsity four won by relaxed margins as well, including the biggest win of the day — a 19.0-second victory against Virginia in 7:29.2.
“Top-to-bottom all the boats really had bright spots,” Rothstein said. “They all showed some things that needed to be improved.
“We’re in a good spot, but the biggest thing that we are seeing right now is these athletes are excited to get back to practice. Regardless of times, regardless of race results, they want to get back to work and keep getting faster. That’s exciting to see.”