ACRA National Championship
May 27-28, 2017
– With the 1V race coming down the course, there was a wave of nostalgia that swept over me as a rower and teammate; these were some of the final strokes that the Michigan Men’s Rowing class of 2017 would take as oarsman here at the university. And as the Those Who Stay… crossed the orange buoys on Lake Lanier, I knew that regardless of the outcome, this was going to be a season to remember.
The American Collegiate Rowing Association Championships began ten years ago with the help of our coach, Gregg Hartsuff, as a way of elevating collegiate club rowing to a new competitive level. In that short amount of time, the regatta has grown to host over 1700 athletes from all over the country. With every year the level of competition has surged, which has consequently forced Gregg to push his athletes and strategic thinking a little harder than he has in the past.
As was made clear from this past weekend, although the bragging rights for the 1V shift between programs, there is one thing that separates the Wolverines from all other crews.
We have now won the Men’s Team Points Trophy (the measure of the deepest and most successful Men’s crew at the regatta) for ten consecutive years.
Additionally, our team has walked away with the ACRA Small Boats Trophy for now the fourth consecutive year, winning it every year since it's inception.
While those stats sink in, it is necessary to acknowledge those people who made all this possible.
To the parents, siblings, and friends who travelled hundreds of miles to set up tents, bring along food and noisemakers.
To our coaches for waking up early with us to ride out on Argo on mornings when it was just warm enough that the river could not freeze, but way too cold for comfort; and for pushing us through punishing workouts in the coliseum loft, and for developing a spirit of competition, an expectation of greatness, and a culture of excellence.
To our alumni who come back and share their years of experience with us, and who have set the ball rolling with the successes of our program, and certainly placed the bar high for us to reach towards.
And to our rowers for dedicating their time, making sacrifices, and putting all they have into this beautiful sport.
As Coach Hartsuff plainly put it, thus wraps up the 2016-2017 rowing season… welcome to the 2017-2018 season.
See all of you in the fall. And as always,