The news was so significant Michigan assistant coach Veronika Platzer nearly dropped her cell phone.
Thanks to the Internet, Michigan’s fans knew how the Wolverines placed even before the team did. But when they did find out over the phone, it was hard for any Wolverine to contain their excitement.
The Michigan women’s rowing team’s varsity-eight boat placed third at the prestigious Head of the Charles regatta in Boston. The Wolverines’ time of 16:21.651 was the highest finish by any collegiate team at the event, and marked the best finish ever in Michigan history.
“We were cautiously optimistic before finding out the results,” said Platzer after regaining her composure and the grip on her phone.
But the third-place showing is even more impressive given the Wolverines finished behind the Princeton Training Center and London Training Center. With the 2008 Olympics looming, both groups represent the national team entries for the United States and Canada, respectively. Both treated the event as an exhibition leading into the summer.
This event was also part of an intense fall training season for the Wolverines. Only a portion of the team traveled to Boston, but the coaches thought the impressive finish said a lot about the entire program.
“What happened this weekend not only speaks to the talent of this group of kids, but it also speaks to is the talent of the program and the quality of the program,” Platzer said
Even though the Head of the Charles regatta is a highly esteemed event, many of the Wolverines’ regular season rivals didn’t participate.
“I think our team understands that (the season is) a marathon, not a sprint,” said Michigan coach Mark Rothstein following the 39-team event.
The varsity-four boat competed in an equally competitive race with 21 teams and finished ninth (19:06.206).
The Wolverines look to capitalize on their momentum when they face Michigan State in East Lansing this Sunday.