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Before we get to "The Game," you know, the one where two of the most historic college football programs of all time battle it out in the biggest rivalry in the sport, there is one other Ohio State-Michigan matchup to watch out for and that is the Ohio State men's rowing team facing off against Michigan this Saturday.
The two teams will face off in the WolverBuck Regatta on Nov. 18, an annual scrimmage race held in the same city as wherever the football game is being played that year, meaning this year's race will be held in Ann Arbor.
|Men's Rowing||Nov. 18||Ann Arbor||Regatta|
The history of the WolverBuck Regatta goes back a long way. The tradition began between the two universities in 1992. Michigan currently leads the series between the two teams, but Ohio State has been closing the gap in recent years.
The WolverBuck Oar was first contested in 1992 and has been raced every year with the exceptions of 2013 and 2014. The eponymous prize, after which the scrimmage is named, is an oar that is painted half Ohio State and half Michigan colors and is taken home by the victorious team to hang in their boathouse until the following November when the contest is again held.
When Ohio State hosts the scrimmage, racing is conducted on a 2.8 kilometer course on the Scioto River from between the Greenlawn Dam to COSI. When Michigan hosts the scrimmage, crews will compete over a mile-long course on Argo Pond in Ann Arbor.
This duel is always the last competition of the fall season for the Michigan and Ohio State men’s teams. In college rowing, the fall season is primarily for training, therefore both teams use this scrimmage as a benchmark to see where they stand against one another before heading indoors for winter land conditioning in preparation for the spring championship season. Michigan does not have a women’s club rowing team, so therefore this race is men only.
The Ohio State men's rowing program—founded in 1978—is one of the oldest student organizations on campus.
"We pride ourselves in having a tradition of excellence and success," Ohio State Crew team president Rachel Bushman said.
"Most of our athletes walk on the team having no prior rowing experience. We believe walking on the rowing team at Ohio State is one of the most unique opportunities for students on campus, providing an opportunity to test physical limits unlike any other student organization."
So far this season, there have been a few highlights for the team. These include winning the Buckeye-Bearcat challenge over the University of Cincinnati, seven top 10-finishes and three medal winning boats at Head of the Hooch regatta in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as well as five medal winning boats at the Speakmon Regatta.
While there are a few programs across the country that are funded by the university and therefore have official "varsity" rowing teams, Ohio State—like most—competes at the club level.
However, that hasn't stopped the program's success, as many notable rowers have walked through the Ohio State boathouse, including Bryan Volpenhein, who went on to win multiple world championships, two Olympic medals (Gold M8+ in 2004 and Bronze M8+ in 2008), and now currently coaches the United States national team.
For more information on the Ohio State Crew teams, click here.
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