UM advances all boats after day one of NCAA Championships

To place: Sarasota, Florida (Nathan Benderson Park)

Event: NCAA Championships (Day 1 of 3)

First Varsity Eight result: 6:15.564 (1st of 7)

Next Unified Messaging Event: Saturday, May 28 — at NCAA Championships – Day 2 (Sarasota, Fla.), 8:48 a.m.

• Photo gallery

SARASOTA, Florida. – The No. 8-ranked University of Michigan rowing program began its NCAA championship weekend with a positive first day of racing on Friday, May 27 at Nathan Benderson Park (NBP). Wolverines advanced one boat to semi-finals A/B (1V4) with two (1V8, 2V8) competing in the repechages later this afternoon.

Skies were clear and temps were in the mid 70s for the morning runs. There was a slight tailwind but the racing conditions were almost ideal. The Wolverines turned the warm weather into strong performances, earning a top two finish to go with two third-place finishes.

In the first race of the day, the 1V8 finished third to appear in the reps later Friday (May 27) afternoon. UM lined up in lane four between Princeton and Duke in the second inning. The Wolverines are no strangers to the Duke Blue Devils after defeating them in the Big Ten-ACC Invitational (April 2) and again today.

Princeton took the lead from the start with Michigan and Cal putting pressure on the leader. With Michigan extending its run for the first 250 yards, the battle for second was close. Princeton maintained their impressive race pace, not letting go of their fast start and pushing both boats at a competitive pace. As the 500 meters approached, Cal took the lead ahead of Michigan, now setting his sights on Princeton. Michigan continued to press, increasing their pace to 37 strokes per minute in an attempt to gain water. After falling 3.572 seconds behind the leader after 1,000 meters, Wolverines were looking to take second place to avoid repeats later in the afternoon. The leaders held on to their positions, however, pushing Michigan to finish 5.61 seconds behind Cal and finish the race at 6:18.070.

In the second varsity eight race, the Wolverines took third place in a dramatic finish that left 0.881 seconds separating second and third place. UM appeared with a bucket in the fourth and fifth seats of the boat as the Wolverines lined up in lane four between Texas (lane three) and Oregon State (lane five).

Michigan got off to a good start and started the race by positioning their boat alongside the No. 1 ranked Texas boat. impose as the second place boat. Approaching 750 yards, Michigan had taken a few seats on the SMU Mustangs while gaining water on Texas’ lead boat. As the Wolverines pressed on the Longhorns, the SMU boat in lane 2 began to generate more speed to close the gap between it and Michigan. Reaching the final 500 meters, the Mustangs’ sprint seemed to pay off as they propelled the Wolverines into third place.

Perhaps the best performance of the day came from 1V4, as UM lined up between Stanford and Big Ten opponent Rutgers. In addition to seeing Rutgers at the Big Ten Championship (May 15), Maize and Blue faced the Scarlet Knights, Stanford and Virginia at the Big Ten Invitational which took place in April. UM then beat Stanford by 3.643, but the Cardinals looked to be running with vengeance today as they took first place in the set.

Stanford took the lead with Michigan right on the heels of the Cardinal. The Wolverines proved their strength by pushing their arc ball equal to that of Stanford. Both boats seemed calm and unresponsive to the tight race and entered the 1000 meter mark relatively evenly. Stanford then began to stretch the shots in order to create a gap. Virginia was battling for third place in lane two as Michigan produced an open water split length and took second place.

The Maize and Blue 1V8 and 2V8 will race in rehearsals later this afternoon (Friday) starting at 3:30 p.m.

Results

First University Eight
1. Princeton — 6:09.912
2. California — 6:12.460
3. MICHIGAN — 6:18.460
4. Duke — 6:31.550
5. Gonzaga — 6:39.122

Second University Eight
1.Texas — 6:18.360
2. EMS — 6:23.043
3. MICHIGAN — 6:23.924
4. Southern California — 6:38.613
5. Oregon State — 6:39.955

First university four
1.Stanford — 6:54.374
2. MICHIGAN — 6:59.627
3. Virginia — 7:04.851
4. Rutgers — 7:07.035
5. Northeast — 7:42.004

Afternoon update

Running in the repechages, UM’s 1V8 and 2V8 avenged their late morning by winning and placing second in the heat, respectively. The boats will advance to semi-finals A/B, which are due to start on Saturday May 28 at 8:48 am.

The afternoon weather was not as calm as observed earlier in the morning. With cloudy skies and a southerly wind, the water was choppy, forcing the competition to rely on strategy to race cleanly.

In Michigan’s first draft race, the 1V8 sported a bucket in the sixth and seventh seats of the boat, as it lined up in lane four between SMU (lane three) and Rutgers (lane five). Syracuse’s early speed in lane two allowed the boat to jump off the line and take the lead. With quick paces from the Mustangs and Scarlet Knights, the Wolverines settled into fourth.

At the 500 meter mark. the Maize and Blue became the fastest player, taking a half-length lead over SMU and Rutgers. Taking the lead, UM looked comfortable and confident taking long shots to finish the race. The final 500 yards saw the Scarlet Knights generate momentum to take the lead from Michigan, but with SMU looking to take a spot, the Wolverines finished at 6:15.564 with a two-place lead.

In the second varsity race eight, UM rowed from lane four between Pennsylvania in lane three and Rutgers in lane five. At first it was a close battle between Pennsylvania, Rutgers and Syracuse for the lead. Near the 400m mark, the Wolverines began to build momentum looking to take a spot on one of the three boats. After 750 yards, UM was seen picking up and passing Syracuse in lane two for third place.

Michigan’s speed seemed to make Rutgers uncomfortable as the final 500 yards was a battle for second place. The Maize and Blue dug in and showed their mettle and secured a spot in the A/B semis in 6:24.424, finishing behind Pennsylvania.

For UM, the races resume on Saturday May 28 at 8:48 a.m. (Heat 2, Lane 6) with the 1V8 A/B semi-final. The 2V8 race will start at 9:36 a.m. (Heat 2, Lane 1) and the 1V4 race will start at 10:12 a.m. (Heat 1, Lane 2).

Draft results

First University Eight
1. MICHIGAN — 6:15.564
2.EMS — 6:16.894
3. Rutgers — 6:17.384
4. Syracuse — 6:26.510
5. Gonzaga — 6:33.742
6. Rhode Island — 6:39.402
7. Boston — 6:42.360

Second University Eight
1. Pennsylvania — 6:22.838
2. MICHIGAN — 6:24.424
3. Rutgers — 6:25.806
4. Syracuse — 6:29.538
5. Oregon Street — 6:38.474
6. Northeast — 6:52.876
7. Rhode Island — 7:08.164

Michigan Range

1V8: Charlotte Powers (helmsman), Jessica Schoonbee, Katie Easton, kate burns, Grace Collins, Elena Collier-Hezel, Abigail Tooth, Gabrielle Graves, Ariana Shokoohi

2V8: Ainslie Evans (helmsman), jeri rhodes, Carla Russell, Sarah McKay, Brooke Gietzen, Zara Collisson, Noa Sreden, Catherine district, Victoria Cook

1V4: Cecile Spesia, Emma Luniewicz, Aubrey Fitt, Annaka Draaisma, Kaitlin Nemeh (helmsman)

Earnest A. Martinez