Sometimes it seems the weather simply won't cooperate, and this entire Spring season seems to have been one of those times. All of our races - Lubbers Cup, States Cup, MACRA, Dad Vail, and ACRA - were delayed, cut short, or otherwise impacted by foul weather. Despite a complete lack of assistance from the elements, your MSU Crew Club had a strong season and is set up for an even bigger and better year in 2017-2018.
This Spring the Club raced three 8's (Heavyweight, Lightweight, and Freshman/Novice) and two 4's (Varsity, Freshman/Novice), representing the deepest competitive roster in years. Lubbers Cup was the first 2000 meter "sprint" race for the entire novice squad as well as three of our varsity athletes. With each round of racing the athletes showed increased familiarity and confidence with the format. While the Novice 4 was unable to race at States Cup, a clean sweep of Ohio State in the 8's events resulted in the return of the States Cup to its rightful home in East Lansing. At MACRA the Spartans raised the bar even higher: all three 8's made it to the Grand Final and raced the top crews in the Midwest, while both 4's showed their best speed of the season.
At Dad Vail the novices and lightweights saw a deep field of highly competitive programs from across the country. Our boys held their own, with the Novice 8 racing through to the Semi-Final with a top-18 result in the Time Trial, while the Lightweight 8 managed to knock off Iona in an extremely fast Grand Final race. The varsity heavyweights ended the season at ACRA, where a vicious headwind created tough conditions and a very slow course. Despite the degree of difficulty, both the Varsity 4 and Heavyweight 8 embraced the challenge, fighting hard through heats and repechages on Saturday before Sunday morning thunder cut the regatta short.
All of this race experience will be a boon to the program next year, especially given that only two members graduated. The returning varsity athletes along with the incoming novice class are set up to build on everything learned by this year's crew and have all the pieces in place to club rowing by storm next year.
We could not have done any of it without the help and dedication of our many parents, alumni, neighbors, and supporters. Particular thanks are owed to our parent coordinators, Karen and John Eisley; Paul Garberson for arranging the Team Dinner at Dad Vail; the Red Cedar Rowing Foundation for their ongoing support and everyone who participated in the Class Year boat naming campaign; all the parents and alumni who came to our races to support the team; Douglas Steel for the custom oar rack; and Southwell Builders for the gutters on the boathouse. Finally, thank you to everyone who contributed to the 2016-2017 Supporting Membership Campaign in memory of our neighbors Tom and Marilyn Culpepper. The campaign was a rousing success, and our new wakeless launch has received the name "Culpepper" in their memory. Please join us for the official naming ceremony for the new boat (along with an open-house for all neighbors and the new members of the team) this coming Fall; the date is tentatively set for Saturday September 16.
If you have any announcements that you would like to share with your fellow Crew Club Supporters, or if you have any questions about the upcoming season and schedule please feel free to reach out to me. Enjoy what is shaping up to be a beautiful summer, and look forward to another great year from your MSU Crew Club starting in August.