The Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships in Camden, N.J. this weekend brought the Michigan”s club varsity men”s crew team up against its stiffest competition of the year. The IRA Championship had over 60 teams competing. With such a large field, the Wolverines were hoping to catch a break on their draws. They didn”t have any such luck this year.

“We just ended up getting some of the toughest draws,” head coach Gregg Hartsuff said. “Bottom line, you have to be able to face whoever you”re put in the water with. It was a tough lesson these guys had to learn today.”

The first varsity eight had one of the toughest heats on Thursday morning. The rowers from Dowling edged out the Wolverines by less than two tenths of a second in the last 500 meters. The rowers gathered themselves to try to maintain the composure of a team of seasoned veterans. But with just one senior rowing varsity, the race in the Friday repetition didn”t go as well as hoped with the boat placing fourth.

That earned the Wolverines a spot in the fourth level race, where the first varsity eight placed second to Navy. Both the second varsity eight and the freshman eight placed first in their third level races.

The only boat to make it to the Grand Final was the varsity four without a coxswain. The rowers finished fifth at a time of 6:35.20, falling to Wisconsin (6:22.31) for the second time this season.

“They had the best race they could have had,” Hartsuff said.

All four men are seniors and gave the young crew team much of its leadership.

Even with some early round disappointments, the crew team made a solid statement finishing 11th in the nation with being the only club team in the top 20. By graduating one senior from the two varsity eight boats, these championships are definitely a springboard for continued improvement into the next year.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.