In the first home meets of the spring season, the No. 6 Michigan rowing team came out almost perfect for the weekend, winning 13 of 14 events.
Facing No. 16 Indiana, No. 11 Iowa and No. 18 Michigan State, the Wolverines performed to the expectations of Michigan coach Mark Rothstein, who, despite the dominant performance by the team, only saw room to grow.
“We are looking to get better each and every week, and I don't think we did that this week,” Rothstein told MGoBlue.com. “In some events we did, and in some, we didn't. We need to do it in every event, and we'll get back to work on Monday.”
Though few, the areas that needed work were the most essential — the first varsity eight boats in both sessions. In the morning session, the first varsity eight boat took first with a time of 6:26.99, with a gap of just 1.82 seconds. In the afternoon session, however, Michigan took its first and only loss of the day with the first varsity boat against the Hawkeyes.
The performance by the first varsity eight boat was not up to the Wolverines’ normal standards, as their boat not only performed slower than Iowa’s, but also both teams’ second varsity eight. With a time of 6:30.18, the first varsity eight boat was outdone by the 6:17.80, 6:28.00 and 6:28.30 posted by the Hawkeyes’ first varisty eight, Michigan’s second varsity eight, and Iowa’s second varsity eight, respectively.
“Today was good, up until the last race,” Rothstein told MGoBlue.com. “I didn’t think we raced really well, and Iowa is really, really good. That combination led to their victory by a substantial mark.”
However — outside of the subpar performances of the normally elite first varsity eight boats — the other boats carried their weights. Continuing from their tear the weekend prior, the first and second varsity four boats continued to dominate, sweeping the competition. With times of 7:09.60 and 7:24.60 in the morning session, they won by a combined differential of 26.89 seconds. The third varsity four additionally won with a time of 7:38.80, 15.61 seconds faster than the second-best Hoosiers finisher.
In the afternoon session, the Michigan varsity four boats found a way to top off their already commanding performance. Finishing with times of 7:18.20 and 7:18.1, the first and second varsity four boats beat Iowa’s by a combined 38.33 seconds. Both third varsity four boats for the Wolverines beat out Iowa to cap off a powerhouse performance.