Michigan boat duo wins semifinals
Washington, Princeton varsity eight also head to Grand Final
WEST WINDSOR, N.J. -- No. 2-ranked Michigan advanced both eights to Grand Finals by winning their semifinal races Saturday at the 2012 NCAA Championships on Mercer Lake. The Wolverines' varsity four boat finished sixth in its semifinal and will race in Sunday's petite final.
The first varsity eight was the opening event for Day 2 of the championships, with Michigan once again cruising to a first-place finish. The Wolverines earned a two-second win against second-place Princeton and held a three-quarter boat length lead on the Tigers for the majority of the race. Washington crossed the line third to join Michigan and Princeton in Sunday's Grand Final.
In the first 1V8 semi, Virginia dominated the field and earned a four-second victory against second-place Southern Cal and third-place California, with all three crews advancing to the Grand Final. Michigan's 1V8 time (6:15.20) was the second fastest among all 12 teams in the semifinals, trailing only Virginia (6:13.35). This year marks the U-M 1V8 crew's first trip to the Grand Final since 2004.
The 2V8 was up next and put forth a dominating effort. Michigan jumped out to an immediate lead against the field and built a half-boat open-water advantage. Michigan never trailed in the race and crossed the finish line almost five seconds ahead of second-place Ohio State. The Wolverines posted the top time among all 12 second varsity eight boats in the semifinals. Cal took the win in the first semifinal and will join U-M, Princeton, Virginia, Ohio State and UCLA in Sunday's Grand Final.
Michigan's V4 boat struggled for the second day in a row and finished sixth in its semifinal race against California, Yale, Washington, Harvard and Notre Dame. The Wolverines will race in Sunday's V4 petite final against Harvard, Notre Dame, UCLA, Wisconsin and Cornell.