The fall racing season is coming to a close, but the Michigan women’s rowing team already has a preview of what’s to come this spring.

Michigan faced five Big Ten rowing programs and Notre Dame yesterday at the Chicago Head race for a regatta that offered a glimpse of the Wolverines’ competition at Big Ten Championships in seven months.

Michigan delivered solid performances amid powerful competition. The Wolverines’ varsity-eight boat finished fourth (16:02.600) out of 22 boats in the morning head race. The regatta was stacked from top to bottom, with just 17 seconds separating Michigan from first-place Wisconsin.

“It was really focused on teams that we know pretty well, and that we compete against a lot,” Michigan assistant coach Veronika Platzer said. “We knew going into it that it would be tough without a whole lot of separation.”

The fourth-place varsity-eight competed in the afternoon 2,000-meter race with the top three finishers from the head race.

The Wolverines pulled ahead of Minnesota in the final quarter of the 2,000-meter to finish third behind Wisconsin and Michigan State.

The team’s novice squad also took part in its first large regatta. Its boat gained experience in the competitive waters, finishing 13th out of 18 teams in the novice head race.

“(The novices) have a lot of excitement and enthusiasm,” Michigan novice coach Chrissie Monaghan said. “They handled challenging positions very well today, and the results display what we’re capable of in the future.”

The Chicago Head Race marks the end of Michigan’s varsity fall racing season. The Wolverines will continue to work on their strength and speed through the winter in preparation for the shorter races in the spring.

“We had a really terrific fall season, and this race helped punctuate that,” Platzer said. “Now we take the car and put it back in the garage and work on it some more before we put it back on the race track.”

Michigan’s varsity team won’t compete again until March, but the novices will see action Nov. 10 against Eastern Michigan at Belleville Lake.

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