There are thirty minutes of curves and straight-aways on I-94
between Ann Arbor and Belleville Lake — the largest lake in
Wayne County.

These are the waters that the Michigan rowing team calls
home.

This year, Michigan is hoping to dominate the league from the
start, rather then play catch-up as it did last year.

Taking first place in four of five varsity races, No. 2 Michigan
dominated in its first regatta of the season on Saturday, handling
the competition of No. 8 Michigan State, Notre Dame, Clemson and
Eastern Michigan.

“We had good competition out there today,” Michigan
coach Mark Rothstein said. “This is the start of a long
season, but we need to set the bar high for where we’re
starting, so we can build off of it.”

The Wolverines did set the bar high, as the varsity eights
finished their sprints by open water and the second and third
varsity four won their heat with time to burn. Michigan’s
resounding victory could be a result of the support of alumni and
teammates.

As each heat began, the boats were cheered on by the
team’s rendition of ‘The Victors.’ But despite
the impressive victory, there is still room to soar.

“We need to get better,” Rothstein said.
“We’re at maybe 85 percent of where we need to be. We
need to keep bumping that up a little bit each week.”

Michigan hopes to keep up its high standards.

Although every win is a celebration, Michigan has its eyes on
trying to transform itself into a better team.

“I’m more concerned with our development than I am
with the results right now,” Rothstein said. “These
results, in the long run, really aren’t that
meaningful.”

The results, impressive as they are, serve as a starting point
for Michigan.

It hopes to grow in both speed and synchronization in the
upcoming competitions.

The next chance will come when the Wolverines head to Columbus
Saturday to test themselves in a dual event with No. 9 Ohio
State.

“Ohio State is outstanding,” Rothstein said.
“They may be the best team in the country right
now.”

Ohio State claimed victories over both No. 1 Brown and No. 3
Princeton on Saturday. The Buckeyes are proving they are a force to
be reckoned with. Next Saturday will be the first of three regattas
between Ohio State and Michigan.

“Whether we beat them or they beat us, it’s not the
end of the story either way,” Rothstein said.

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