U-M Places Second at Big Tens in Tight Finish

May 14, 2017

» The Wolverines won each of the three races in which they were the top-seeded boat (2V8, 1V4, 1N8) and added a win from the 3V4 boat but finished one point behind Ohio State in the team standings.
» This marks the sixth top-two conference finish in the last seven years for U-M and the fourth runner-up showing in the last five seasons.
» Kaitlin Wright and Kendall Brewer were named first team all-conference selections, while Tessa Yurko and Louisa Freeman earned second-team honors. Joesi Krieger was named the team's sportsmanship honoree.
» The Wolverines will await official NCAA selection this Tuesday (May 16) before heading to New Jersey for the NCAA Championships.

Results | Photo Gallery 

Site: Indianapolis, Ind. (Eagle Creek Park)
Event: Big Ten Championships
Team Standing: 2nd Place of 8 Teams (179 points)
First Varsity Eight Finish: 2nd of 8 (6:11.194)
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sun., May 26-28 -- at NCAA Championships (West Windsor, N.J.)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Seven boats represented the No. 4-ranked University of Michigan rowing team at Sunday's (May 14) Big Ten Championships at Eagle Creek Reservoir, and every one of them mattered. Every point counted as the final standings showed, and the Wolverines displayed both poise and toughness as they clawed their way through the regatta, punching and responding in kind when they needed to, only to come up one point short of the team title.

"I'm very proud of our team," said head coach Mark Rothstein. "I think we raced hard today and prepared really well throughout the year. This is a special team, and Ohio State was just a little bit better than us today."

Conditions were consistent throughout the day, with temperatures reaching the high 70s by the end of events. Weather was sunny and clear, and waters were calm, which only added to an outstanding atmosphere for fans, who were treated to a dramatic day on the water and a strong display of the strength of the conference.

Race wins from the top-seeded 2V8, 1V4 and 1N8 boats, plus a victory from the No. 2-seeded 3V4 boat made up each of U-M's four wins on the day and accounted for 96 of the team's 116 total points heading into the final two races of the day. But it was the strong start to the day that positioned the Wolverines so well.

The morning began with quality performances from both novice boats and two wins in three races for the varsity four boats. The 3V4 stretched a 2.7-second lead on OSU at the 1,000-meter mark of their race into a five-plus second victory, with an outstanding time of 7:04.9, and the 1V4 held off the charging Buckeyes and Badgers with a time of 6:58.226. Earlier, the 1N8 boat timed 6:36.9 to edge OSU by 2.5 seconds.

Entering the penultimate race of the day (2V8), U-M needed its first- and second-seeded 2 and 1V8 boats to match their respective seeds, and if Wisconsin (No. 2 seed, 2V8) could have outlasted the Buckeyes, who outperformed their No. 3 seed to finish second in that race, the Wolverines would have won the team title by the slimmest of margins.

The 2V8 boat fulfilled its part with 2.235-second win over OSU in what was certainly one of the most exciting races of the day. Both boats jockeyed and traded seats up and down the course, before the Wolverines began to pull away for good between the 750- and 500-meter markers. Their final time of 6:14.503 would have finished third in the 1V8 race, equal conditions considered.

But the 2V8 boat's hard-fought win was blemished by a second-place OSU finish, with Wisconsin taking third, and the Maize and Blue knew it could only earn the conference title with an outright win in the 1V8 race, creating a true winner-take-all scenario against OSU.

But the Buckeyes held on, with the Wolverines finishing second to punctuate a runner-up team finish. With the NCAA Championships next on deck, it was a bittersweet end to the conference season in what has been an outstanding season to this point. The team has maintained a top-five ranking all season long, a testament to their collective consistency.

The Wolverines will await the NCAA Regional Seeding program, which will air on Tuesday (May 16), and once the field is set, Michigan will hit the water once more at the NCAA Championships in West Windsor, New Jersey. The event will begin at Mercer Lake on Friday (May 26) at 7 a.m. for heats, with Saturday and Sunday sessions beginning at 8 a.m.

Varsity Eight Crews

1V8: Kat Boyle (coxswain), Kaitlin Wright, Kendall Brewer, Tayla-May Bentley, Meghan Gutknecht, Tessa Yurko, Shayla Lamb, Kalia Krichko, Louisa Freeman

2V8: Alexis Jones, Flick Cain, Sarah Hudnall, Lexie Beemer, Kara Puidokas, Rebecca Joyce, Caroline Hendershot, Rachel Fanning, Kathryn Grotto

Varsity Four Crews

1V4: Erika Yasuda (coxswain), Kinsey Vear, Abby Vare, Victoria Glunt, Susie Stevens

2V4: Lily Miller (coxswain), Kathleen Peng, Rae Oleshansky, Grace Gagliardi, Lauren Gilbert

3V4: Amy Zhang (coxswain), Laura Foster, Karla McDaniel, Mallory Jamett, Emily Krebs

Novice Eight Crews

1N8: Jillian Zull (coxswain), Madeleine Schneider, Perry Bower, Anahera Nin, Madison Byrd, Tate Aronstein, Sadie Staudacher, Alexandra Lorenz, Emma Dietz

2N8: Mollie Fox (coxswain), Haley Dennison, Anna Valine, Anna Wilgenburg, Jasmine Smith, Lilia Duncan, Maurgan Lee, Erica Whiting, Samantha Rogers

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Communications Contact: Chad Shepard