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-Tu-6 d6y, June 1, 1999 -The Michigan Da - 15
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By Emily Achenbaum
Daily Sports Writer
To simply say the Michigan women's
rowing team finished its season fifth in
e nation for the second consecutive
ar at last weekend's NCAA Rowing
Championships in Sacramento, Calif.,
would trivialize its experience.
"Any team in the building process has
to go through a
year of ups and ROWING
Johnson said. -----------------
"This was ours."
Only three years old, the rowing pro-
ram is still in its infancy. Yet the team
ended nationals for the second time
last weekend, joining old-money schools
with well-established programs such as
Princeton and Brown, and tough West
Coast schools which have warm weather
and endless access to water to their
advantage for practices.
Despite proving once again that they
are one of the top teams in the nation, the
Wolverine's road to nationals was by no
Competing since last fall, the rowing
team has one of the longest seasons of
any varsity sport. Without a training
facility of their own, the Wolverines
spent much of their winter practicing on
ergometers in the unheated visitor's lock-
er roam in Michigan Stadium or in the
hallways of Yost Ice Arena.
"We're a traveling team - we'll work
anywhere they put us," senior Vita
A boathouse of their own is on the
way. But like everything else in the
young team's history, it couldn't be real-
ized without a struggle.
After going through the expected red
tape, the boathouse was finally approved
by the athletic department. But construc-
tion's green light was dimmed by
protesting Van Buren residents, who
were misinformed about the details of
the financial agreement between the
University and the Township.
On the water, the Wolverines have
faced other challenges. The team strug-
gled with transferring the fast times they
posted during practices into consistent
success in competition.
For the past several weeks before
nationals, coach Mark Rothstein repeat-
Courtesy of Jason Gerdom/Michigan Athletic Department
The Michigan women's rowing team tried to become the first Michigan women's varsity athletic team to win a national title in
just its third year as a varsity sport, but finished fifth this last weekend at the NCAA tournament in Sacremento, Calif.
edly scat-raced the rowers, trying to fig- But the Wolverines are a group that junior Nora Obringer said.
ure out the best possible combination of thrives on challenge. Not only do they With the honor of being the first
rowers to make each boat as fast as pos- have their own internal challenges, but women's varsity sport to win a national
sible. "There's no quantitative way to the rowing world is becoming bigger and championship for Michigan still up for
select a boat' said Rothstein. "It's sub- increasingly competitive. grabs, it looks like the rowers have
jective." "Our motto is 'relentless pursuit;" their work cut out for them.
'M' finishes fifth for second-straight year at NCAA Championships
1999 NCAA ROWING
In Sacramento, Calif., May 28-30
FIsT VARsInTY EIGst
am Time Points
Brown 6:46.89 30
2. Virginia 6:50.50 27
3. California ;.51.79 24
4. Princeton 6:52.00 21
7. MICHIGAN 6:51.79 12
SEcOND VARSTY EIGst
Team Time Points
1. Virginia 6:50.79 20
2. Brown 6:53.29 18
3. MICHIGAN 6:53.10 16
4. Washington 6:55.39 14
Team Time Points
1. Washington 7:34.50 10
2. Virginia 7:40.20 9
3. Brown 7:41.89 8
4. MICHIGAN 7:48.20 7
Continued from Page 13 exceede
*Shaya is not as well known as Rolf Wolverin
and Held, but he might sneak in and "We'v
snatch the sole singles spot opening. players r
Shava is not as well-known as the ly be c
others because he spent most of the tender. I
past year playing on the Satellite 15 team,
tour, tennis' equivilant to the be one o
Baseball's Minor League system. how the
"Shaya is the darkhorse of the year."
class," Goldberg said. "lie played "All o
4tellites last year and is extremely vated an
tented. He has a huge serve and is Regar
a heavy hitter. He plays with a big Wolveri
game." team sh
"We've got three guys that will and real
help the program," Goldberg said. Big Ten
Continued from Page 12
with the rowers - one that makes such an impres-
sion on the rowers that they will never want it to
He told the first varsity eight boat that the semi-
final where they missed making the final by less
than a foot is "going to be one of the most impor-
tant races in the history of our program."
"That is type of race that sits with you, eats at
you and helps you train hard in the off-season to get
ready for next year," Rothstein said. "I think this
leaves us hungry. We showed we were a fast pro-
gram, but we didn't come in and take control of the
situation like we wanted to - and like I think we
are capable of."
But the rowers were able to rebound and win
their Petite Final, with a wire-to-vire lead that
resilted in an encouraging victory over Michigan
Meanwhile, it was the second varsity eight boat
that stole the spotlight. They had the pleasure of
year's class of Danny
Henry Beam, and Ben Cox g
d their- expectations and
big a reason as any for the
e got five out of six singles
eturning so we will certain-
onsidered a Big Ten con-
think that we can be a Top
" Goldberg said. "We should I
f the favorites depending on PRI
e team develops over the * LOWEN
f these guys are highly moti- HIGHES]
d a close-knit group." FASTES
dless of who leads the
tnes into next season, the ® 1002 PC
ould be loaded with talent 994
dy to challenge for the first
title in the post-Eisner era.
beating Washington - the defending national
"It was by far the best race the boat had this year,
and by far the best performance of the second var-
sity eight in the history of Michigan," said
In one of the biggest upsets of the weekend,
Michigan fought a tough headwind to overtake the
Huskies by about four inches in a photo finish.
While the boat placed fourth, the race was incredi-
At one point there was only a boatlength of water
between the leader, Virginia, and Michigan. In the
last 250 meters Virginia pulled out in front to win
the race with Brown finishing second and the
Wolverines edging out the Huskies by only 0.19
"I wanted to go out there and maie sure I didn't
have any regrets," senior Heather Uhring said.
"When (the coxswain) called the sprint, I just went
ballistic. We generallly row a little higher (stroke
rate) than most people, so it felt good to be able to
sprint early. Wejust had to do this. It was amazing."
In the Varsity Four Grande Final, Washington
and Brown immediately jumped ahead while
Harvard and Michigan struggled for third place for
the next 1,000 meters. The Wolverines finished
fourth - a major improvement over last year when
the boat won the Petite Final, resulting in a sventh-
place overall finish.
"When you're in the Petite Final, you can only
get seventh place," senior Kara Paske said. "That is
the worst feeling in the world, and I told them that
I wasn't going to let them experience that. It is so
great to be in the Grande Final and racing the best
crews in the country."
Rothstein was especially impressed with the
boat, considering its performance over the season.
"I really think their performance was outstand-
ing," Rothstein said. "A month and a half ago, the
varsity four was a crew that would have a tough
time making the final here or even finishing at the
top of the Petite (Final). We have come so far in the
"Keep your eyes on us' sophomore Kate
Johnson said. "We'll be making waves."
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