May 24th, 2015 at 2:22 PM ^

For those of you who missed the Michigan Men's Varsity 8+ victory via livestream, here is the link for the archive:

Fast forward to the 2:38:00 mark as it is the last race of the regatta. Watch through the 3:00:00 mark for the award ceremony as well. They have very good video coverage of the race, so it is well worth the watch.

Here are the official results:

MV8+ Grand Final

Sunday, May 24, 1:14 PM

1 University of Michigan 05:45.40
2 Grand Valley State University 05:46.70
3 University of Virginia 05:48.29
4 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 05:51.32
5 Santa Barbara, University of California 05:52.94
6 Irvine, University of California 05:53.51
7 Purdue University 05:58.64
8 Delaware, University of 05:59.36



May 24th, 2015 at 3:34 PM ^

Despite what men's rowing may tell you these aren't national champioships, they are club championships. Lacrosse was a great club team too, moved up the real level and can't can't even make the postseason. Mens rowing probably wouldn't make top 8 most years at the highest level.


May 24th, 2015 at 4:20 PM ^

The ACRA rowing championships ARE a national championship, albeit a collegiate CLUB national championship; you should not minimize this accomplishment. These NCs are equivalent to those won by the men's lacrosse team prior to their elevation to varsity status.

Anyone who knows the sport of collegiate rowing knows very well that the top VARSITY programs compete at a different level, as they should. For example, Washington and Cal both have rowers with national team racing experience in their 3rd VARSITY 8+. That will tell you a bit about their depth and talent level.

The difference is analogous to asking the Michigan CLUB lacrosse team of four years ago to compete with Princeton, UVa, UNC, Syracuse, etc.



May 24th, 2015 at 5:45 PM ^

I'm only diminishing their accomplishments in relation to the guy who mentioned ucla basketball as a comparison. Club championships are great, they aren't national championships. Obviously being a top 20 team with no sholarships is great, they are still only 20th.

Plus the guys on the rowing team give the womens team shit, talking about how they only get funding because of title 9 and the guys deserve it more because they are more successful. Well funny story, they aren't more successful because they are in a lower league. So again, 8 club championships is great, it isn't 8 national championships.


May 24th, 2015 at 7:41 PM ^

You have a personal issue with the men's rowing team based on your comment.

Actually, I know nothing of this as I am not a Michigan rower nor was I formerly a Michigan rower. However, I have been involved with rowing nearly my entire life, love all Michigan sports, and want to see both the men's and the women's teams perform at the highest level in collegiate rowing

Two points:

1)  If you state that the Men's rowing team's CLUB national championships "aren't national championships", I trust that you state that the previous Michigan men's lacrosse CLUB national championships "aren't national championships", correct?

2)  Regarding your comment that "they are still only 20th", allow me to throw out a hypothetical here: IF the top programs in the country were to compete WITHOUT their foreign nationals in a given race (and YES they are on "scholarship", contrary to other statements made here), you would see Michigan's Men's V8+ competing as a top 12 crew nationally.

For example, Yale just won the Eastern Sprints, and clearly should be a finalist in the IRA coming up next weekend.(Yale hasn't been at this level since 1982.) They do have a GREAT coach in Steve Gladstone (now in his 5th season), but their V8+ crew is also 80% foreigners with national team experience. That is a HUGE reason for their recent success.

NOTE: I know Yale does not have "athletic scholarships", but they have de facto scholarships in that their rowing athletes from Australia, NZ, UK, France, are NOT paying to attend school there. The same goes for Washington, Cal, Harvard, Brown, etc.

IF Michigan were to have even just four athletes of this caliber in their V8+ (not knocking the current oarsmen), their V8+ boat speed would increase dramatically, as would that of their 2V8+, to the betterment of the entire program (even with their limited resources as mentioned here previously: lack of water, no indoor rowing facility, etc).

THIS is THE MAIN difference between Michigan and the top 10 IRA programs.




May 24th, 2015 at 7:50 PM ^

Yes the lacrosee club championships were just club championships and not national championships, I think that is exactly what I said before and the that fact is proven by how much they have struggled in actual D1. And sure if you made Yale worse and Michigan better things would even out. But that's not the case now and Michigan isn't better. So instead of suggesting they are best college rowing team, which is what national championship implies, we can congratulate them on being the best club rowing team that does very well given a lack of resources.

So congrats to men's rowing on being the best club rowing team in the country for the last 8 years. That's an accomplishment to be proud of. They aren't actually national champions because there are 19 other teams better than them this year. Also being top 20 sounds great, but how many schools actually sponsor rowing?


May 24th, 2015 at 10:20 PM ^

my hypothetical scenario; it was NOT about making Yale worse and Michigan better. Instead, it was about evening the "resources playing field". (Think oversigning in college football.)

When you have crews composed of nearly 80% of foreigners with international level experience competing with guys that maybe rowed in high school or started their collegiate careers as novices, that is a huge difference in competitive resources.

At any rate, that is currently not an issue as they are not allowed to compete at the IRAs. When they did compete at the IRAs, they beat a number of programs with a lot more resources than they have. Perhaps you do not know that.

They are, as much as you want to diminish it, competing at the highest level in CLUB collegiate rowing, and winning CLUB NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS. NOTHING MORE, AND NOTHING LESS.

By the way, the program has also produced several US National Team members/Olympians. Perhaps you did not know that either.

There are about 200 collegiate rowing programs in the US, including men and women, and DI, DII, and DIII, and clubs. Like ice hockey, it is a VERY important sport to a lot of universities, but you will not find it at every university.

Your last point makes as much sense as saying DI FCS, DII, and DIII sport national champions are NOT true national champions because there are better teams at the DI level.






May 25th, 2015 at 12:16 AM ^

Lol at mentioning how many teams there were including womens at all levels, clearly not relevant to my point. As far as I could tell there are a little over 30 schools with men's rowing supported at the varsity level.

You act like I am trying to diminish anything. I think it's great Michigan won, I think it's great Michigan is respected, I think it's great they have Olympians. I was just adding context to people who might not have realized it was a club championship rather than Michigan being the actuall best rowing team in the country, because they aren't even close to that. When teams win d2 championships people say they are the d2 national champions. So the title of this thread should be Michigan wins 8th club national championship. Word club makes all the difference.


May 25th, 2015 at 3:18 AM ^

so I did not title the thread.

My point in mentioning the number of collegiate crews at all levels was more informational, nothing more. In fact, all of my posts have been an attempt to provide some insight to the sport for those who may not be familiar with rowing, and where Michigan stands in relation. (From an outsider's perspective.)

I do not have the exact number, but for Division I varsity programs on the men's side, it probably is in the range of about 30.

The men's varsity 8+ at ACRAs had 24 crews competing (4 heats of 6 crews). Conferences represented include the Big 10, Pac-12, ACC, SEC, Big 12, Patriot League, Colonial Athletic Association, and more. Those twenty four crews do not represent all schools competing, but only those who were entered in the men's V8+.

NCAA sponsorship of men's rowing would be great for the sport at all levels in the US, just as it has been for women's rowing. One direct beneficiary of the NCAA inclusion (since 1997) and advanced development of collegiate women's rowing is our women's national team, which has been dominant in the 8+ over the last three Olympic Games (2 golds and 1 silver) and with many world championship wins in between.


May 24th, 2015 at 9:43 PM ^

than Michigan, but you are comparing two different levels of collegiate rowing.

Wisco has a rich tradition of VARSITY rowing, but they also have only made one IRA Grand Final in the last 5 years.

If you don't think international rowers make a difference, take a look at BU (Boston University for those who do not know). BU is a program that was always an IRA 3rd level final contender. Tom Bohrer is building that program on foreign rowers. They just swept Wisco in Madison a few weeks ago, have been in the IRA Grand Finals the last number of years, and are currently ranked around #6.

5 of their V8+ rowers are foreigners. (Not counting what they have in the other crews; in fact nearly 1/3 of their entire roster are foreigners.)

I did not say they make "all" the difference, but they definitely account for a lot of boat speed.


May 25th, 2015 at 1:28 PM ^

but those are also long-established varsity programs with a lot of resources that as a club program Michigan does not have: proper boathouse, indoor rowing tanks, sizeable operational and recruiting budgets, scholarships, alumni foundations, etc..

I don't think anyone here is saying that the Michigan V8+ is the fastest in the country. What people believe is that with varsity status and all that comes with it, Michigan could produce crews competitive with the top IRA programs.


May 24th, 2015 at 6:01 PM ^

He's not degrading what they've accomplished, he's putting it in context for 95% of readers who don't know the levels of rowing.  If I said Michigan basketball won 2 championships in 3 years and you ask "national championships?" and I respond, "No, conference championships." that just puts in context what you're talking about in terms of competition etc.

And when someone throws out UCLA basketball and tries to compare it to winning club championships, well then that definitely deserves some clarification. 

Congrats to the rowing team. 


May 24th, 2015 at 7:41 PM ^

Did anyone not know this was the club level?  I mean that honestly - when I was at UM over a decade ago we all knew the crew team was club level, but they were an elite program at that.

They are a top-20 program regardless, and if they went up to varsity I suspect that they'd be a consistent top-15 team pretty quickly.  Lacrosse is a bit of a  false comparison because they never competed with the elite programs in the sport; with time-based sports like crew you can just look at the numbers and see that Michigan has enough club-level talent to be a competitive IRA program pretty early on.


May 24th, 2015 at 8:06 PM ^

It is pretty clear that there are some people here that carry negative sentiments towards the men's rowing team, for whatever reason (one was clearly stated above by ak47).

I can say from the perspective of being involved with rowing for a lot of years and viewing the Michigan men's rowing team from the outside, they certainly get a healthy amount of respect from the collegiate rowing community.

As I said yesterday regarding the indoor rowing facility to be built for the women's team, these are the type of assets they need to be competitive in collegiate rowing. If the men's team were to be elevated to varsity status and received some of these assets (there are some other logistical issues such as lack of water on Argo Pond), they could be very competitive at the IRA level.

The best competitors in rowing are also the top academic institutions in the country, both at public (Cal, Washington, UVa, Wisco, Texas) and private universities (Stanford, Harvard, Radcliffe, Yale, Brown, Princeton, etc.). That is good company.



May 24th, 2015 at 8:42 PM ^

I can say that I had no idea that we were talking club and not NCAA. I appreciated the clarification of it being club and was confused at the lack of Ivies in the results box. So, I don't think (as was stated) that ak47 was trying to reduce their accomplishments, merely trying to educate and clarify to us other peons.


May 24th, 2015 at 9:51 PM ^

The 5:45 posted by the MV8+ would have won last year's IRA championship race. Granted, they are raced in different conditions, etc.
The point is that this team already competes at the level of the top varsity teams, without the funding they receive. They are a bunch of kids who pay their own way, rowing out of a shed on 3000m of Huron river. What they are able to achieve year in and year out is remarkable.

True Blue Grit

May 24th, 2015 at 2:36 PM ^

It's a very hard sport that requires a lot of work and time (like most).  But, these student-athletes also have to pay a hefty amount of money for rowing-related expenses above and beyond their tuition/rent/food/books/fees/etc.  As WD says, it's past time to make this a varsity sport. 

el segundo

May 24th, 2015 at 3:43 PM ^

Winning the ACRA national championship is a great achievement and the team should be congratulated, but it's not the highest level of collegiate rowing.

The highest level of collegiate rowing is the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA), which has its national championship next week in New Jersey.  That's where Washington, Cal, Yale, and the other top programs will be competing.

In the ACRA grand final for the Mens Heavyweight 8, Michigan rowed a 2000 meter sprint in 5:45, defeating second-place Grand Valley State.

Last week at the Eastern Sprints, Yale's #1 heavyweight 8 won the eastern champtionship by rowing 5:35 for 2000 meters.  And Yale will not be the favorite at the IRAs next week.

Michigan's time today is comparable to the time that won the freshman heavyweight 8 at Eastern Sprints last week.  There are probably at least 15 heavyweight varsity 8s in the IRA that are faster than Michigan.

Michigan has a fine program that deserves athletic department funding and could be reasonably competitive in the IRA.  But ACRA Nationals are to the IRAs like the Div. II championship is to the Final Four in men's basketball.


May 24th, 2015 at 5:39 PM ^

1) People need to understand that the ACRAs are NOT like a "Division II" championship. In fact, very few Division II programs can compete at this level, the exceptions being GVSU where they have a very stable and successful club program and a very large student body from which to recruit rowers, and Florida Tech (FIT), where rowing is THE sport (their AD is the former long-time coach) and where they have rowing scholarships and a Varsity 8+ with five oarsmen from foreign national teams. Call the ACRAs what they are: The collegiate CLUB national championships.

2) The ACRA field of crews come from all over the country, including some long-established and successful collegiate CLUB rowing programs. It was a long-needed event and they are doing a great job with the regatta. It is a great event for the ongoing development and sustainability of men's collegiate rowing, while the women's side of the sport is heavily in favor now due to its NCAA status.

3) You should NEVER use times as a comparison of crews due to all of the external and environmental factors, but I do agree that Michigan's Varsity 8+ is probably more comparable in speed to a program like Washington's 3V8+ or 1st Freshman 8+. That is not a knock; Washington has two rowers in their 3V8+ with international racing experience. Washington's 3V8+ and 1F8+ are VERY fast.

4) I know very well the IRA field. What you may not know is that the success of Michigan rowing AT THE IRA is a big factor in the reason why Michigan (and other club programs) can no longer compete there. When they were beating varsity programs like Rutgers, Columbia, Stanford, Yale, Dartmouth, all long-time varsity programs, there was a movement by these coaches to exclude club programs. Clearly it did them no favor to take those results back to their respective athletic departments.

5) This may surprise you. Michigan has enough national respect to be ranked in the Top 20, even as a CLUB program (…):

Men’s Varsity Eight

Rank Team (1st Place Votes) Points Previous
1 University of Washington (13) 298 2
2 University of California 281 1
3 Yale University (2) 275 3
4 Northeastern University 255 8
5 Princeton University 240 4
6 Brown University 227 7
7 Harvard University 212 5
8 Boston University 193 6
9 United States Naval Academy 182 10
10 Columbia University 164 18
11 University of Pennsylvania 148 11
12 Cornell University 131 9
13 Dartmouth College 112 12
14 Stanford University 104 13
15 University of Wisconsin 86 15
16 Oregon State University 79 14
17 Florida Institute of Technology 60 17
18 College of the Holy Cross 51 19
19 Syracuse University 41 16
20 University of Michigan 14 NR

Not Ranked But Receiving Votes: Drexel University 8, George Washington University 8, Oklahoma City University 3, Hobart College 2, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2.


May 24th, 2015 at 10:25 PM ^

2008. Right after their race (they got 5th in the 3rd final, so 17th in the country) - the last time Michigan raced at the IRA before being kicked out - they came to the awards dock and stood with their backs to the crowd with these shirts:

el segundo

May 24th, 2015 at 8:40 PM ^

I was using times as an illustration, not as a definitive measure.  In any event, I doubt Michigan could get under 5:40.  In good conditions, the best programs will all be below 5:40 consistently.

And thanks for the info, but I did know Michigan was frequently ranked in the top 20 in some polls this year.



May 25th, 2015 at 2:54 AM ^

Former coach at Texas. I'd have killed for a crew who could put up a 5:45. And we had amazing water all year. I was there in the Penn athletic department building when the IRA coaches all met to kick us out. That day ACRA was conceived. Coach Hartstuff was and probably still is heavily involved with ACRA.

I remember the Rutgers varsity program getting demoted to club because of losing to club teams. IRA coaches at the "Indiana states" of the world took one of the most inclusive races around (predating the ncaa actually) and made it exclusionary to save their jobs. Those rowers put in crazy hours and sacrifice a lot and do it mostly with kids who never touched an oar before college.

SaigonBlue is well steeped in rowing knowledge btw.

Seeing Michigan right up there with Wisconsin and Stanford with all their resources is mind blowing.


May 25th, 2015 at 4:26 AM ^

how certain entities have made men's collegiate rowing very exclusionary. This, along with some of the other traditions have held back the continued development of the sport. Most of this is a product of the very stodgy EARC (Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges) programs, and to some extent, the Dad Vail Regatta Association.

It is my understanding that the west coast programs (Washington, Cal, Stanford, etc.) are/were generally in favor of men's rowing becoming an NCAA sport. The NCAA has done a lot of good for women's rowing, and while I do not love the NCAA, men's rowing would benefit greatly as well.

A lot could be done by the "powers that be" to advance this idea and the general development of the men's sport (of course money is a major factor), but old mindsets and traditions die hard.



May 24th, 2015 at 5:53 PM ^

Nobody on that team thinks that they are the fastest crew in the country. The fact that they are able to consistently be ranked in the top 12-20 schools (regardless of varsity status) with the few resources they have is impressive. Congrats to the rowing team, and go blue!


May 24th, 2015 at 4:17 PM ^

...and the hits continue to come indeed for Michigan athletics today. Well done indeed.

Between baseball and this, even if you didn't know what was going on, the hashtag #HarbaughEffect would probably be all you needed to know. 

In all seriousness though, congratulations to the rowing team!


May 24th, 2015 at 6:19 PM ^

Congratulations Mens rowing!!!!  

The time, effort AND expense these guys make should be appluaded.   I put myslef through UofM and had to drop out of the men's crew team due to cost.... fantastic experience though!  I really do wish their hard work pays of in the future and they make Varsity.  

Go Blue!!!!


May 24th, 2015 at 6:58 PM ^

But definitely NOT national champs when you row in the minor leagues! UM should make this a real sport and then go after the big boys like Cal, Brown & Washington.


May 24th, 2015 at 7:20 PM ^

heart, effort and accomplishment.  I say to you how many national championship team's have you been on at any level?   Exactly.  


May 24th, 2015 at 8:25 PM ^

I see by the neg that the truth hurts but then maybe being less critical of other's achievements would be better than than setting a high bar that we ourselves do not have the energy, talent or ability lto attain.  Excellence at any level should be applauded not diminished.