The weekend of May 24th the Spartans traveled down to Gainesville Georgia to take on teams from across the nation in the American Collegiate Rowing Association National Championships. The team left Wednesday night in order to get down to Georgia with two days of practice on the waters of Lake Lanier and to get acclimated to the hot Georgia weather. The extra days of practice allowed the Spartans to have a leg up on the competition.
The National Championships started off with the Freshman/Novice 4 at 10am. After their very successful performance at the Dad Vail regatta expectations were high. The 4 placed first in their heat and advanced directly to the semi-finals on Sunday. Next up was the 2V8, and their heat was going to be a tough one. The 2V8 had a strong heat race but was unable to place in the top 3 to advance to the grand final. This meant that the 2V8 was going to the reps but there was a shot at making the grand final. The reps were later in the afternoon but the Spartan men and women were prepared for it. The field of teams in the race were all very strong and unfortunately for the Spartans they were not fast enough to place top 2. This result meant that the 2V8 would be racing in the petite final the following day, however just because it was a petite final doesn’t mean that the race would be taken lightly. The varsity 8 was the final heat race for Michigan State, their heat had some fast boats in it, including several teams that they had seen at Dad Vail. The V8 had a strong heat but didn’t qualify to go directly to finals and would be racing with the 2v8 in reps later that day. The V8′s rep race was a tough and they barely missed the cutoff for the semi-finals but they knew that the final they were in was still important.
The finals began early on Sunday with the Novice 4. The grand final was stacked with fast teams, and the Spartans were in for a tough race. The 4 had an amazing race an fought very hard from the very beginning but the race was controlled from the start by Michigan and Virginia. The results were one for the history books with the Spartans tying with Washington State for fourth place. Even though they didn’t medal the 4 had an amazing spring racing season, going from an 8 to a 4 and finding success at both Dad Vail and ACRA, the Michigan State Crew Club couldn’t be prouder of them.
The Spartan 2V8 was in the Petite final and were poised to bring the full force of the Spartans. Off the line North Carolina controlled the race but the Spartans were determined to run them down. The final sprint had Massachusetts pulling ahead at the very end with MSU still walking up on them. The Spartans placed 3rd but had a very strong performance, showing that MSU is starting to develop a deep talent pool. The C final for the V8 had MSU facing off against Army once again and this time as with last time the fighting came right down to the finish. The Spartan V8 finished 2nd right behind Army with a very solid time. Even though it wasn’t the final that they wanted to be in the members of the V8 still gave the race their all.
With the conclusion of ACRA the spring racing season and the 2013-2014 rowing season come to an end. Michigan State Crew Club had a very successful year and hope that the years to come are even more successful. The team would like to thank the athletes for their hard work, the Coaches for pushing us to be the best we can be, the parents for always being there for us (and feeding us), and the alumni for forever being Spartans and continuing to support us.