The weather has been cold recently.

But not cold enough to keep the Michigan rowing team off the water as it prepares for the ACC/Big Ten Double Dual regatta this weekend on the Scioto River in Columbus.

“Cold is a factor, but it doesn’t deter us from practicing. Only ice and strong winds keep us off the water,” Michigan coach Mark Rothstein said. “In a typical week, we practice nine times, four inside on the ergometers and five more out on the water.”

The practices vary each day from 50-minute, continuous rows to multiple sprints, and from race intensity workouts to slower technical work. Senior Kate Maxim, who has earned three varsity letters as a Wolverine, explained that each works a different aspect of rowing and is difficult in its own way. But they all have the same goal – to help the team stay composed through each race.

“One advantage we have is that we can row in unfavorable conditions,” Maxim said. “It makes us mentally tougher.”

No. 5 Michigan is hoping that those workouts will make it tough enough to defeat two very good crews this weekend in No. 11 Virginia and Duke.

“We have a lot of respect for Virginia,” Maxim said. “They are a great team.”

Said Rothstein: “Virginia is a very tough team. They’ve been one of the most successful programs in the country over the last five years.”

The Wolverines are used to tough competition by now. Last week, they swept No. 9 Michigan State and Eastern Michigan in all three races of their only home regatta of the year. Two weeks ago, they raced very well against defending national champion Brown and No. 2 Princeton.

Rothstein explained that the team is focusing on the long term, but not overlooking the regatta this weekend.

“This is going to be a tough regatta. We don’t have an easy race all year,” he said.

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