Pioneer grads help Michigan rowing team reach NCAA grand final
Both of the Michigan rowing team’s eight-person boats reached the grand final race of the NCAA rowing championships with strong semifinal times Saturday on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J.
The first varsity eight won its semifinal heat in 6:15.20 and had the second-best time overall. Virginia won its semifinal in 6:13.35.
That boat includes a pair of Pioneer High School graduates in junior Colleen Macke and senior Julie Darnton. Macke is the coxswain.
The Wolverines’ trip to the first varsity eight grand final is its first since 2004.
Michigan, ranked No. 2 in the nation, also advanced its second varsity eight. That boat had the best overall time on Saturday, winning its semifinal heat in 6:29.71.
The top three boats in each of two semifinals advanced to the grand final round on Sunday.
Michigan’s varsity four boat, which includes Pioneer graduate Nicole Dressler, finished sixth in its semifinal and will compete in the petite final.