May 29, 2014
For the seventh year in a row, the U-M Men's Rowing Team captured the American Collegiate Rowing Association National Championship.
The Wolverines won the title May 25 after scoring 664 points, beating the second-place team from the University of California, Santa Barbara by 126 points. The competition was staged at the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue in Gainsville, Ga.
"This was definitely a special year for us," says coach Gregg Hartsuff. "This was one of the more dominant regattas that we have had. Because of our team depth, everyone contributed points to the victory. We had the fastest
varsity eights I have coached since 2007."
With the colder-than-normal winter, the team was unable to train on the water when they initially planned. "There was more than two feet of ice remaining on the river we train on when we left for spring break, which resulted in adjusting training in anticipation of low water time after returning home," Hartsuff says.
The top-ranked U-M men's team won the men's quad, men's novice four, men's varsity four, men's second-team varsity eight and in the regatta's leading event, the men's varsity eight crew defeated the University of Virginia with a mark of 5 minutes and 44 seconds.
Hartsuff praised his team for adapting quickly to the weather stipulations. "We were only able to get on the water two days before the first race this year. Usually we have two weeks of preparation. That forced us into 'Plan B,' which the guys did without missing a beat."
Additionally, three members of the team and a coach were named to the ACRA Great Lakes All-Region Team: Louis Schaljo, senior; Wes Vear, junior; Mitch Tyson, sophomore; and Russell Giacobbe, freshman/novice coach. According to Hartsuff, these men were selected primarily on their strong individual physical scores that were tested on rowing machines.
The varsity eight crew, which features five seniors, has one more race together. The team will travel to England to compete in the Henley Royal Regatta July 2-6. Hartsuff is especially excited for this invitation-only tournament because of how competitive, motivated, and physically ready his team is.