A weekend trip to East Lansing, Mich. for the Minnesota rowing team was filled with ups and downs.
Unfortunately for the Gophers, though, most of the ups came Friday when the team practiced fully on water for the first time since March 19 and not during the double dual against No. 8 Michigan State and 14th-ranked Michigan on Saturday.
“It was about what I expected,” coach Wendy Davis said Sunday, a day after her team won just one of 12 races. “Those are all really good schools. A lot of the races were not close.”
The Gophers’ top boat, the first varsity eight, lost its race to the Wolverines by seven seconds in the morning and finished nine seconds behind the Spartans in the afternoon.
“We weren’t able to be at the rates other teams were because we haven’t had as much water time,” senior Tracy Merth, a member of the boat, said. “It was a tough weekend for us.”
Minnesota’s second varsity eight lost by 13 seconds to Michigan State and seven seconds to Michigan. The first varsity four crossed the finish more than 23 seconds behind the Wolverines and about nine seconds after the Spartans.
The second varsity four didn’t fare any better with a 16-second loss to Michigan State. The same boat lost to Michigan by more than 30 seconds in the morning leg.
Only the first novice eight boat came away with a victory, edging out Michigan State by 1.77 seconds in the afternoon session.
A strong showing from the younger group still helped raise the team’s spirits after a difficult racing weekend.
“I think it’s great that they were able to rise to the competition,” Merth said.
For the past week, Minnesota practiced on only a 300-meter stretch of the Mississippi River. With storms in the forecast, the Gophers are hoping local lakes will thaw so they can avoid another lackluster performance at the Charles River Challenge in Boston next weekend.
“Everybody guessed that we were in highly unusual situations. It would be the same thing if a satellite came and ruined someone’s boathouse and all of their shells,” Davis said, adding that she’s hopeful of a soon return to lakes for practice. “Hot weather and a big old torrential downpour would do a number on them.”
Even with a disappointing season, Davis sees no reason why, with enough future water time, the Gophers can’t hang with Big Ten competition. Wisconsin also participated at the meet, winning eight of 12 races against the two Michigan schools.
“We’re being over-stroked. Everybody’s at a higher cadence than we are,” Davis said. “Some of the schools have been on water since early March.”
Merth added, “We’re starting at a pretty good pace, and we’ll just keep improving.”
Nominate an exceptional graduating senior for the upcoming Ski-U-Mah Issue!
UMN students have traveled to Florida colleges to collaborate with students on various projects.
When UMN students plan for a vacation, having trip cancellation travel insurance is a worthwhile commodity to check out.
Minneapolis Used Cars
Give back to the Minnesota community with a boat donation at boat4causes.org.
If you have been involved in a car accident call a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer for a free consultation.