ACRA National Championships

30 May


The ACRA Championships were held on the site of the 1996 Olympic Games

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 Freshman/Novice 4

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 Varsity 8 pulling hard

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 Super 8 (aka the 2V8)

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.


Thank you to our parents, alumni, and all our supporters, it means the world to us
Spartan Pride!!

Open House – Sat. May 17. 1pm – 4pm. Rain or Shine!

15 May

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We are hosting our first community open house this Saturday from 1pm to 4pm. The crew club boathouse is located in Grand River Park off of Old Lansing Road, Lansing, MI. The park entrance is opposite the Dispatch Sports Pub & Grill at 3004 W Main St, Lansing, MI 48917.

Come meet members of the MSU Crew Club, see our boathouse and equipment, and learn about our fun sport. We will have refreshments available. The team will be dedicating a new boat, the King Leonidas, and drawing the lucky winning ticket for our grand prize, an all-inclusive 2 night stay at the Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, MI.  Tickets will be available for purchase (cash or check only) at the open house. Tickets are $15 for one and $10 for each additional ticket.

Don’t let the soggy weather keep you away. There is plenty of room inside the boathouse in case of more rain! Free parking in the public lot by the Michigan Princess river cruise boat or on the side of the dirt road leading to the boathouse.

The 76th Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta

11 May

On Thursday morning on May 8th the Michigan State Mens Crew Team arrived in Philadelphia Pennsylvania to compete in the 76th Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta. After a very strong performance last year the team had high hopes for this years regatta. The morning started with unloading the trailer, rigging boats, and setting up our team tents. After all of this was completed crews took to the water to  get a feel for the area and to “prowl the course”. After this was done the crews traveled back to the hotel to prepare for an early morning.tent


The morning of the heats started off early with the Varsity 8. Their heat consisted of rival Virginia and some tough competition from Army. Water conditions were flat and ideal for racing. The Spartans had a solid heat time of 5:57.3 about 8 seconds behind Virginia and about 2 seconds ahead of Army. With their heat completed the V8 advanced to the semi-finals on Saturday.

The next Michigan State boat to race was the Freshman/Novice 4. The FN4 launched at 10 to 1 and made their way up to the starting line to face off against NY Maritime, MSOE, and Buffalo. The novice 4 had a very strong heat and crossed the finish line 1st with a time of 6:41.4, and advanced to the semi-finals on Saturday. The novice finished the heats with the fastest overall time from any Freshman/Novice 4 that day.

The Freshman/Novice 4 crosses the line in the Grand Finals

The Freshman/Novice 4 crosses the line in the Grand Finals

The last boat racing for the Spartans was the second varsity 8. The 2v8 squared off against, just like the varsity 8, Virginia. The 2v8 also raced against Purdue, Rochester IT, and La Salle. The 2v8 had a very solid race and was able to beat Rochester IT, and La Salle to advance to finals. The Spartans rowed a 6:08.1 which put them 15 seconds behind 1st place Virginia, and 4 seconds behind 2nd place Purdue, they were a full 4 seconds faster than Rochester IT and 17 seconds faster than La Salle. The 3rd place finish by the 2v8 allowed them to advance to the semi-finals.


The next morning was the semi-finals and with every boat advancing from the heats hopes were high for strong races. The Freshman/Novice 4 was the first semi-final for the Spartans. They were racing against local favorite Drexel and another Pennsylvania powerhouse, Bucknell. The 4 finished their semi-final with a time of 6:51.7, which had them finishing in second place. The novice were only about .8 seconds behind first place Drexel and 1 second ahead of third place Bucknell. The second place finish guaranteed the Novice an appearance  in the Grand Final later in the day.

The 2v8

The 2v8

The second semi-final for MSU was the 2v8. The Spartans were competing against Virginia, Michigan, FIT, Grand Valley, and George Mason. The semi-final started off very strong for the Spartans when all of a sudden a popped seat from Michigan forced a restart of the race. The second start was not on the same par as their first one, but the 2v did not let that stop them from pushing forward. The final sprint from the Spartans was unfortunately not enough to allow them to qualify for the Grand Final. The racing was however good practice for the national championships on Lake Lanier in Gainesville Georgia in 2 weeks.

The last semi-final for MSU was the v8′s. The v8 was going up against Michigan, Bucknell, George Mason, Army, and North Carolina. The racing for the Grand final was intense and very competitive. The racing was fierce until the very end with Michigan coming out on top followed by Bucknell, George Mason, and Army. The Spartans were only 10 seconds back from Michigan and only 3 tenths of a second back on Army. Even though the V8 didn’t make finals the strong racing that was displayed at Dad Vail was only a glimpse of what is in store for ACRA’s.

The varsity 8

The varsity 8


The Grand Final for the Freshman/Novice 4 went off at 1:30 with winds and waves picking up. Waves at the start line made starts difficult but the Spartans pushed through it. The racing was extremely tough with top funded and club teams racing against one another. The Spartans finished 5th overall which was a great finish for the team. The 4 will be racing again at ACRA’s and will be competing against Virginia and Michigan, which was only faster than MSU by 6 seconds in the grand final.

Michigan State crew, parents, and alumni cheer on the Spartans

Michigan State crew, parents, and alumni cheer on the Spartans


Overall the racing in Philadelphia was a learning experience. Crews learned what did and didn’t work when it came to racing. All that was learned in Philly will be applied to practices for the next two weeks and then used in Gainesville against some of the top club teams in the nation. Spartans never let a bad race hold them back from getting better and lessons learned will be used to make boats go faster and place higher in the races to come.

MACRA Championships

1 May

The team after a full day of racing

The team after a full day of racing

With a morning filled with delays, racing seemed unlikely, however after hours of waiting crews were finally let out on the water. The Mid-America Colligate Rowing Association championships were held on Ford Lake in Ypsilanti  Michigan. Teams from around the mid-west and as far as Pennsylvania gathered to compete against one another in 2000 meter races.

The Varsity 8 started the day off strong with a second place in their heat, only coming in .6 of a second behind Notre Dame. The crew used this tiny loss as motivation to come back in the finals later that day. The 2V had a strong row in heats but ultimately couldn’t pull out the necessary finish to advance to finals that afternoon. The freshman 8 put on a very strong row in heats coming in second to Michigan’s 1F8 and advancing to the finals.

Third Place MACRA Medal

Third Place MACRA Medal

The finals for the day started as soon as heats were over in order to take advantage of the favorable weather conditions. The Varsity 8  had a good row in the finals, finishing 3rd overall. Michigan State was 9 seconds behind second place Grand Valley and 3 seconds ahead of fourth place Mercyhurst. The Freshman 8 showed their racing talent and determination when they came in 5th overall. The freshman were only 1.8 seconds behind 4th place Minnesota and almost a full 8 seconds ahead of 6th place Illinois.

Overall it was a fun filled day of racing. The team will travel to the Dad Vail regatta in Philadelphia on May 9th. Michigan State will face in-state rivals Michigan and Grand Valley, along with Virginia and Purdue.

The 3rd Place Varsity 8

The 3rd Place Varsity 8





Free Grand Hotel Stay!

17 Apr

Free Grand Hotel Stay!

We are pleased to announce that we have a received an all-inclusive stay at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, MI to give away! Our package includes meals in the historical dining room and 2 nights in the hotel. An approximate $800 value!

Tickets are on sale now. One ticket is $15, each additional ticket purchased is $10. So, 1 ticket = $15, 2 tickets = $25, 3 tickets = $35, etc. Checks should be payable to “MSU Crew Club” and mailed to:
MSU Crew Club, IM Sports
308 W. Circle Dr. Rm 121
East Lansing, MI 48824.

Please put “raffle” on the memo line plus the number of tickets you are buying and include a note with your name and email address, clearly printed, so we can email you your ticket numbers. The winner will be announced at our open boathouse on May 17th at 3 PM!

If you can’t make it to the open house, you can stay up on the action and find out if you are the lucky winner, through our twitter and facebook pages. (Tickets will also be available through team members and at the open boathouse). Feel free to email us at if you have any questions about the raffle or obtaining tickets.

Lubber’s Cup 2014

13 Apr

The 19th annual Don Lubber’s Cup Regatta, located at the Spring Lake Yacht Club, brought together some of the greatest rowing talent in the state of Michigan and from around the country. Michigan, Grand Valley, Purdue, Cincinnati, Illinois, and Colorado State came together to provide an aggressive racing weekend. This annual regatta, hosted by Grand Valley State University, is notorious for having rough weather. This year proved to be no different, adding rain, wind, and cold to test the skill of the crews. Traditionally a one-day regatta, Lubber’s Cup had two days of competitive racing.  A new scoring system was implemented that allowed for teams to race against one or two other crews in a total of 3 races to determine the overall winner.

Michigan State got off to a slow start this weekend but showed steady improvement from all 3 boats entered. The V8 lost to Cincinnati in the first race of the weekend but made a strong comeback in the next race, beating them by nearly 15 seconds.

The V8 in a close race with Purdue

The V8 in a close race with Purdue

In their final race, the V8 finished only 3 seconds behind Purdue. These results are a good indicator of what a few more weeks of practice will help the Spartans achieve. The Varsity 8, Novice 8, and Varsity 4 all took 4th place in their respective categories. The University of Michigan took 1st place in the Varsity 8 and Purdue surprised many by beating Grand Valley for second place. For the full results, go to

The Spartans are excited to prove themselves at MACRA in two weeks from now, taking place on Saturday, April 26th at Ford Lake in Ypsilanti, MI. Race details are provided at


Spring Season Opener – Cincinnati Regatta

5 Apr

After class on Friday, April 4th, eight rowers and two coxswains traveled to Cincinnati to compete in the Cincinnati Regatta on April 5th. This crew, consisting of both novice and varsity members, had only been practicing on the water for a week prior to the regatta due to the harsh Michigan winter.

The nice weather provided an environment for great rowing.

The beautiful weather provided an environment for great rowing.

That aside, the Spartans planned to prove to the competition that the long absence from practicing on the Grand River didn’t faze them. Here, the Spartans faced competition from the University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, Grand Valley State University, and Miami University and other collegiate crews. The first race of the day for the crew was the Men’s Varsity 8 Heats. The Varsity 8 placed first in the heat, beating University of Dayton and Miami by open water. In the final, MSU placed second behind Cincinnati by 3 seconds. Later in the day, the eight split into two fours and attempted to improve on their success earlier in the day. In the heats, both MSU boats placed second and qualified for the final. In the final, MSU A took third place behind the University of Cincinnati and Grand Valley. All race results can be found on

Lubbers Cup in Spring Lake, MI is next weekend, and the Spartans are expecting fierce racing from familiar Midwest foes: Michigan, Purdue, Grand Valley, and Cincinnati.

The Varsity 8 with their medals after taking 2nd place.

The Varsity 8 after taking 2nd place.

Season opening race at Cincinnati

29 Mar

A last minute addition to the racing schedule will see the crew club opening their spring racing season at the Cincinnati  Regatta this coming weekend, on Saturday, April 5th. The race is at Lake Harsha in East Fork State Park, Bethel, Ohio. The varsity 8+ will race at 9:40am and the two varsity 4+’s will race at 1:30pm.

If you live in the area, please consider coming out and cheering on the Spartans in their first race of the 2014  spring racing season. Check RegattaCentral – Cincinnati Regatta for complete race information.

Spring Break

8 Mar

MSU crew members escaped this treacherous winter during the week of March 2 to get some much needed time on the water. With 10+ inches of ice on the Grand, members were ecstatic to get on the water as soon as spring break began. Clemson University proved to be, yet again, a fantastic venue for the first ventures on the water this year. Warmer weather, endless waters, wonderful cafeterias, and a week of school break allowed the team to improve all on aspects of their rowing.
The week consisted of hard training, including two-a-day practices and work in both 4+s and 8+s. Competitive 1500 m and 500 m pieces on the last day displayed the hard work of the crews throughout the week. Both Novice and Varsity members alike show great potential, indicating an interesting season is to follow.In addition to rowing, the camaraderie between teammates grew and great memories were made. Rowers enjoyed nightly cards sessions, trips around town, and spending time together as a team. A cohesive group of friends makes for outstanding team mentality.

This was a very beneficial trip and is another step forward on the path to podiums in the spring. Rowers look forward to the opportunity to get back on the water at home before the first race of the season, Lubbers Cup, on April 12 and 13th.

Rowing in Clemson over spring break.

Rowing in Clemson over spring break.



States Cup cancelled

28 Feb

Unfortunately, we have had to cancel the States Cup regatta that was scheduled for March 29th in Lansing. The Grand River is covered by 13 inches of ice with little warming in the forecast and due to the lead time required for the teams traveling to Lansing, a decision had to be made by the first of March whether to hold the regatta. We thank Penn State (M&W) and Grand Valley State (W) for their understanding and look forward to resuming the regatta in 2015.

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