First Water #1: Wolverines to Kick Off Spring at Michigan State

March 26, 2010


Saturday, March 27 -- at Michigan State, vs. Notre Dame (East Lansing, Mich.), 10 a.m.

The ninth-ranked University of Michigan women's rowing team begins the 2010 spring season in earnest this Saturday (March 27) when it travels to East Lansing, Mich., for a matchup with Big Ten foe Michigan State, ranked No. 7, and Notre Dame. The Wolverines are sending three varsity boats: first varsity eight, second varsity eight and first varsity four. U-M will also send a novice eight and a second novice eight. This will be the first regatta of the spring season for all squads.

Schedule of Events
10:00 a.m. -- Second Novice Eight
10:20 a.m. -- Novice Eight
11:00 a.m. -- Varsity Four
11:20 a.m. -- Second Varsity Eight
11:40 a.m. -- First Varsity Eight


First Varsity Eight: Kate Grimaldi (coxswain), Lauren Schneider, Ashley Kroll, Felice Mueller, Emily Eiffert, Adrienne Mecham, Cristina Felix, Melisa Ongun, Julia Darnton

Second Varsity Eight: Jennifer Entin (coxswain), Nellie Ruedig, Jordan Peek, Lindsey Healy, Natalie Eisermann, Ariel Piotter, Kristen HenkelsPaige Heil, Olivia Klipa

Varsity Four: Erica Macke (coxswain), Sarah Gribler, April Newberry, Nicole Dressler, Brittany Poston

Novice First Eight: Colleen Macke (coxswain), Michaela Brown, Cori Meinert, Kaitlin Cender, Emily Reimann, Jessie Rampton, Samantha Scholl, Rachael Minore, Martha Alves

Novice Second Eight: Jennifer Denike (coxswain), Danielle Prentice, Becky Piks, Rachel Christensen, Kendall McSweeny, Lee Sova-Claypool, Ellen VonFoerster, Sarah Kucemba, Amber Spears


Let's Get It Started
The Wolverines are hoping that they can continue their streak of opening the spring season with a victory. In each of the last two seasons U-M has opened with season-opening wins. Last season the Wolverines defeated both Princeton and Brown, and in 2008 the Wolverines opened with a win over Duke at the Big Ten/ACC double dual. This week's season-opening race against Michigan State marks the first time since the 2007 season the in-state foes have met to open the spring season.

Veteran Presence
Six Wolverines that competed in U-M's top boat at the 2009 NCAA Championships return for the 2010 season: Melisa Ongun (Chicago, Ill./Lincoln Park), Ashley Kroll (Edmonds, Wash./Kamiak), Adrienne Mecham (Lake Stevens, Wash./Lake Stevens), Cristina Felix (San Marino, Calif./San Marino), Emily Eiffert (Honeoye, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) and Felice Mueller (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Promfret School). Additionally, Erica Macke (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer), Natalie Eisermann (Key Biscayne, Fla./School for Advanced Studies-Wolfson), Jennifer Entin (Corona Del Mar, Calif./Corona del Mar), Ariel Piotter (Bridgeman, Mich./Bridgman), Jordan Peek (Jacksonville, Fla./Stanton College Prep) and Julia Darnton (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) rowed varsity for the Wolverines a season ago.

Welcome Home Coach Sickler
The newest member of the Michigan women's rowing staff is not really new to U-M at all. This past summer, head coach Mark Rothstein announced that former U-M rower Brett Sickler (2002-05) would be coming back to her alma mater as an assistant coach. Sickler was a member of the NCAA varsity eight that earned NCAA runner-up honors in 2003, and she was an alternate for the USA Rowing team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Welcome home, Brett!

Oh, Captain, My Captain
Head coach Mark Rothstein named several captains during the fall preseason. This year the Michigan women's rowing team will be captained by seniors Maggie Cooper (Lake Oswego, Ore./St. Mary's Academy), Kristen Henkels (Scotch Plains, N.J./Scotch Plains-Fanwood), Ashley Kroll and Adrienne Mecham.

Welcome to the Team
There are several new faces joining the rowing squad this season. The Wolverines welcomed a four-member freshman class. Joining the squad this season are Kate Grimaldi (Sammamish, Wash./Seattle Preparatory), Amanda Langone (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy), Katie Grossman (Duxbury, Mass./St. Marks) and Shannon Stief (Mukilteo, Wash./Kamiak).

The Leader of the Maize and Blue
Mark Rothstein enters his 14th season at the helm of the University of Michigan women's rowing team. Rothstein has guided the Wolverines to 10 NCAA Championships appearances and three Big Ten championships, including back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001.

Rothstein's staff is made up of assistants Kate Strum and Brett Sickler and graduate assistant coach Anne Hildebrand. Strum and Hildebrand are both entering their second seasons with the Wolverines, while Sickler, a former U-M rower, enters her first season on the Michigan rowing staff. Peter O'Neall is the director of operations.

Rank and File
Michigan earned a No. 9 preseason ranking in the USRowing/CRCA Women's Collegiate Rowing preseason Division I poll released March 17. The Wolverines are one of six Big Ten schools to earn a preseason ranking. Michigan State led the Big Ten schools with a No. 7 preseason ranking.

Upcoming Schedule
Saturday, April 3 -- at Virginia, vs. Clemson (Charlottesville, Va.)
Saturday, April 10 -- at Indiana, vs. Ohio State, vs. Brown (Bloomington, Ind.)
Saturday, April 17 -- at Ohio State, vs. Southern California, vs. Michigan State (Columbus, Ohio)

Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423