April 30, 2005
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Michigan State won its first Big Ten Rowing Championship ever, edging Ohio State by one point in the final team standings after winning a thrilling I Varsity Eight race. The Spartans are third school in the six-year history of the Championship to win the team title. Michigan State entered the climactic final event in third place in the team standings, but an impressive run gave it the points necessary to jump Ohio State and Wisconsin for the Championship.
The Spartans led the IV8 grand final from beginning to end, holding as much as a boat-length's lead. Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin battled for second for the first third of the course before the Buckeyes and Wolverines started to close on the Spartans a bit. Over the final 500 meters, a furious sprint by Ohio State brought it close to Michigan State, but the Spartans had enough energy left to win the event by 1.30 seconds with a time of 6:22.20. The Buckeyes grabbed second with a 6:23.50, followed by Michigan (6:25.34) and Wisconsin (6:31.52).
Minnesota won the I Varsity Eight petite final with a time of 6:31.30, outdistancing Indiana (6:36.10) and Iowa (6:40.72). The Golden Gophers narrowly missed a spot in the grand final after a tough morning heat. Minnesota finished third in that race with a 6:30.93, behind Michigan (6:29.77) and Wisconsin (6:30.17).
Wisconsin won the first of the event finals of the afternoon when it took the II Novice Eight crown with a time of 7:08.10, easily winning the grand final. Ohio State (7:11.45), Minnesota (7:13.13), and Michigan (7:14.50) rounded out the field.
Minnesota took the next grand final with a first place finish in the I Novice Eight with a time of 6:44.20. Ohio State (6:47.66), Michigan (6:49.80), and Wisconsin (7:16.04) rounded out that event, while Michigan State claimed first in the petite I Novice Eight final at 6:51.30.
In the first of the Varsity Four finals, Wisconsin earned the victory in the II Varsity Four grand final. The Badgers cruised home with a 7:31.89, well ahead of the rest of the field. OSU (7:37.70) finished second in the race, while Michigan (7:41.83) took third by a mere .02 seconds over Michigan State (7:41.85). Minnesota (7:46.30) won the IIV4 petite final.
Michigan State made a big move towards its eventual team title in the I Varsity Four grand final. Starting the race in fifth place in the team standings, the Spartans dominated the field in the event winning by over six seconds, with a 7:19.30 final, still in fifth, but considerably closer point-wise to the top of the standings. Wisconsin was the runner-up in the event at 7:25.16, edging out Michigan (7:27.65) and Minnesota (7:28.43). Ohio State's crew won the petite final at 7:33.60 after being out-sprinted by Wisconsin and Minnesota in the morning heat and missing the grand final field.
Ohio State put itself in the championship lead with a win in the II Varsity Eight final. The Badgers time of 6:28.52 beat out the Spartans (6:29.46) at the end, with both boats considerably ahead of Wisconsin (6:34.45) and Michigan (6:34.85). That win gave Ohio State a temporary lead in the standings, but Wisconsin and MSU were both within eight points of the lead and with the margin between places in the IV8 race being nine points, it meant whichever team won the IV8 grand final would take home the Big Ten Championship.
In an exciting finish to the IIV8 petite final, Indiana (6:45.20) edged Minnesota (6:45.82) at the finish.