Dreary weather, choppy water and two formidable opponents couldn’t hinder the No. 15 Michigan women’s rowing team Saturday.
In their second consecutive week racing at Griggs Reservoir in Columbus, the Wolverines won four of the seven races, with victories from the first varsity four and eight boats and both novice boats.
The first varsity four boat came in 10.6 seconds ahead of No. 11 Ohio State. Bucknell and No. 9 Tennessee finished third and fourth.
In the day’s next race, the second varsity eight clocked in with a third-place time of 7:12.2, behind Ohio State and Tennessee.
Michigan’s first varsity eight fed off of the day’s earlier victories, though.
Tennessee held a slim lead for much of the race, but the Wolverines edged the Volunteers at the end, coming in just two-tenths of a second ahead of their competition. Ohio State came in a boat-length behind the Wolverines.
“We’re about racing every single stroke of 2,000 meters,” Michigan assistant coach Veronika Platzer said. “It’s approximately 220 strokes in a 2,000 meter race, and every stroke matters. We’re not about jumping out into the lead and hanging onto it for dear life and hoping somebody else won’t beat us.”
That philosophy drives each boat to be consistent and gain momentum each week. A loss to Virginia last week challenged the team to perform and outdo their opponents this week. Platzer said Michigan feels confident it will continue to improve through practice and by making changes to its weekly lineups.
The Wolverines will compete at Minnesota next week before hosting the Big Ten Championships two weeks later.