East Lansing, MIch. — The Spartan rowing team took on top-tier competition on Saturday morning, squaring off with two top-10 squads as the Spartans raced No. 7 Michigan as well as ACC rivals Clemson and No. 4 Virginia at Ohio State in the Big Ten/ACC Double Duals.

With the forecast predicting deteriorating conditions as the day progressed, the crews adjusted the schedule to ensure all the races got in. As a result, the athletes were on the water for races that began at 7 am, greeted with sunny skies and temps in the low 40s – but a factor affecting all crews was an increasing wind up to 20 MPH throughout the two sets of races.

MSU raced Michigan in both sessions, facing Virginia in the first set of races and replacing the Cavaliers with Clemson in the second session. The wind increased significantly for the second half of the schedule, creating more challenging racing conditions for all the crews.

In the first session, the Spartans were second behind both top-10 crews in all but the second novice eight race, where the Spartans beat Michigan by just under a boat length. In the second session, the Spartans were second to UM in the varsity eight race and won the novice eight event, but had third-place finishes in all three fours and the second varsity eight.

In the varsity eight, the Wolverines were six seats behind Virginia, with the Spartans just over 10 seconds behind UM. In the second session, the Spartans closed their margin with Michigan, finishing five seconds off the pace and nine seconds ahead of Clemson.

MSU’s novice eight made perhaps the best adjustment of any of the crews on the day. In their morning race, the Spartans led Michigan with 500 meters to go, but the Wolverines rowed through the Spartans to take second behind Virginia and finish six seats ahead of MSU. In the second session, the Spartans made no such mistakes, finishing first in a time of 7:18.5, about three seats ahead of Clemson and open water over the Wolverines.

The second novice eight also split its results with the Wolverines, posting a near-length lead in the morning session and finishing open water behind UM in the second.

“I’m really encouraged by how coachable and adaptable our varsity eight is showing themselves to be,” said head coach Matt Weise. “We didn’t have a particularly strong race in the first session, but came back with some great adjustment in the second race and really closed that margin on Michigan. I think there’s a lot of potential for us to gain speed in the coming weeks. We are seeing some positive advancement on things across the board with all of our boats.”

MSU is back in action next Saturday, racing Rutgers and Ohio State in Princeton, NJ.

Big Ten /ACC Double Dual
April 2, 2016 Griggs Reservoir on the Scioto River Columbus, Ohio

FIRST SESSION

Varsity Eight Virginia 6:23.2; Michigan 6:26.8; Michigan State 6:37.7 Second Varsity Eight Virginia 6:30.8; Michigan 6:39.8; Michigan State 7:10.9 First Varsity Four Virginia 7:18.6; Michigan 7:23.4; Michigan State 7:45.2 Second Varsity Four Virginia 7:18.2; Michigan 7:30.3; Michigan State 8:03.9 Third Varsity Four Ohio State 7:26.1; Virginia 7:28.2; Michigan State 8:18.0 Novice Eight/Third Varsity Eight Virginia 6:55.1; Michigan 7:05.4; Michigan State 7:08.2 Second Novice Eight Michigan State 7:21.9; Michigan 7:25.4

SECOND SESSION

Varsity Eight Michigan 6:40.7; Michigan State 6:45.9; Clemson 6:54.9 Second Varsity Eight Michigan 6:51.9; Clemson 7:04.7; Michigan State 7:20.5 First Varsity Four Michigan 7:44.2; Clemson 7:55.2; Michigan State 8.01.2 Second Varsity Four Michigan 7:43.0; Clemson 8:01.4; Michigan State 8.43.0 Third Varsity Four Virginia 7:34.2; Ohio State 7:49.0; Michigan State 8:36.9 Novice Eight/Third Varsity Eight Michigan State 7:18.5; Clemson 7:20.0; Michigan 7:23.4 Second Novice Eight Michigan 7:43.0; Michigan State 7:52.7