The Michigan women’s rowing team placed fifth out of 34 teams in the women’s Championship Eights race at the Head of the Charles regatta on Sunday. The Wolverines finished in 16:36.92, 52 seconds behind the first-place finisher, Cambridge Boat Club.

The Wolverines improved upon their eighth-place finish in the same race last year with the result. The fifth-place finish also marks the team’s best finish at the Head of the Charles since 2011.

The Wolverines eked out their fifth-place finish, beating Brown by just two seconds to break into the top five and earn the second-best finish of 30 collegiate boats in the race. Michigan finished 18 seconds behind the top collegiate boat, Virginia.

Michigan coach Mark Rothstein was pleased with his team’s showing at the Head of the Charles, which is one of the most competitive races in the country.

“I thought it was a good result for us,” Rothstein said. “It’s always good to race some of the top teams in the country. To come out fifth is a solid result.”

The conditions in Boston were not ideal on Sunday, posing a significant challenge to a young and inexperienced Wolverine boat early in the season. Although Rothstein admitted that his team does have a steep learning curve, he felt the team handled itself well under adverse conditions and successfully applied many of the technical aspects it had been working on recently.

“I was really pleased because we have a really young boat,” Rothstein said. “We have a long way to go, but I think it’s a good result and a good place for us to be at this point.”

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