Friday, May 23, 2014

Video Of The Week: Boston College Men's Crew, Plus ACRA Picks and Predictions



This week's video comes to us from the Boston College men's rowing team, and features a look back at the 2014 campaign for the Eagles, which included a trip out west to San Diego for Crew Classic (where they finished seventh overall, winning the Petite Final), and most recently a seventh place finish at ECACs. In addition to some nice on-the-water shots, there's a healthy bit of boathouse banter thrown in ("boatspeed") from what was a solid season for the men in maroon and gold.

Next up for BC men's crew? ACRAs, which kick off tomorrow in Gainesville, Georgia, pitting the top collegiate club teams in the country against one another to crown this year's national champion. The 2014 edition of the American Collegiate Rowing Association Championships will be live-streamed and feature very strong crews from Michigan, Virginia, Grand Valley State, and Bucknell renewing their rivalries on Lake Lanier. And so, without further ado, let's take a look at how these proud collegiate club rowing programs stack up, shall we?

Michigan is having one of those seasons. Speaking with head coach Gregg Hartsuff for a ROWING Magazine season preview early in the 2014 campaign, it was clear that this would be a good group, and they've lived up to their potential so far, winning Dad Vails and taking second in the varsity eight at ECACs (less than 0.5 seconds behind Hobart)—the Wolverines also won the second and third varsity eights, finished second in the novice eight, and won the open four in Worcester. For the above reasons, Michigan is our pick to win the ACRA title once again in Gainesville, defending their championship from last season. We're looking for UVA to take second, though it will likely be a tough battle with a very strong GVSU crew that won the Cal Cup in San Diego last April. Also, look for Bucknell to make things interesting for the podium (just as we predicted in March). The race for the medals in the men's second varsity eight will look very familiar, this time with Michigan, UVA, and Bucknell leading the way (in that order).

While the popular favorite to win the men's frosh eight going in will likely be Michigan, we think that Notre Dame will surprise some people in Gainesville this weekend. Battling the Irish for the top spot will be Michigan, GVSU, and UVA, with UCSB and Orang Coast College also probables for the grand final—it could be a tightly packed frosh field in Georgia this year!

On the women's side, Grand Valley is having another great season after walking away with the ACRA title last year. After a close third at Dad Vails, the Lakers are looking like heavy favorites to defend their 2013 championship, likely with UCSB, Purdue, and Wichita State battling it out for the lesser medals.

Keep an eye on the RR Twitter feed for race updates throughout the weekend, and good luck all crews!

Have a submission for 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestions via Twitter, or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages.

Coming up next week: NCAA and IRA Previews—from 'Windy Indy' to Mercer Lake, the crews to watch at the varsity level

-RR

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