Four boats with Michigan rowers advance

John Niyo
The Detroit News
The U.S. women's eight boat wins its heat Monday at Lagoa Stadium.

The weather stopped them in their tracks this weekend. But Monday was a better day for racing at the Olympic rowing venue in Rio – cool, cloudy and calm – and the Michigan crew responded in kind, as four boats with local rowers advanced at Lagoa Stadium.

Ellen Tomek and Meghan O’Leary survived a repechage race to advance to Tuesday’s semifinals in the women’s double sculls. Jackson’s Grace Latz also moved on in the quadruple sculls, though just barely, as the U.S. edged out Australia by .06 seconds to grab fourth place and a berth in Wednesday’s six-boat medal race.

“It's nice to go out there and have it be a dogfight and test your grit,” said Latz, whose crew failed to advance directly out of Saturday’s heats amid some brutal, windy conditions that also postponed Sunday's entire racing schedule. “I mean, that was a great race from all the crews today.”

Added teammate Megan Kalmoe: “We had kind of a tough day the first day of racing, so this was definitely a better race for us. I think we just handled the overall day and the pressure and the nerves. The competition that we were lining up against was a lot better and we’re happy with the result.”

The dominant U.S. women’s eight boat, including three members with Michigan ties – Emily Regan (Michigan State), Amanda Elmore (Michigan) and Katelin Snyder (Detroit) – won its heat Monday to cruise into Saturday’s final in that event. The Americans are the heavy favorites as the two-time defending Olympic champs.

And in the day's final event,  Ann Arbor's Grace Luczak and former Michigan standout Felice Mueller easily won their heat in the women's pair to move on to Wednesday's semifinals.

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