First Water #3: Wolverines Face Big Ten Foes Indiana, No. 13 Ohio State

April 8, 2010

Saturday, April 10 -- at Indiana, vs. No. 13 Ohio State (Bloomington, Ind.), 9 a.m./12:30 p.m.

The No. 10-ranked University of Michigan rowing team heads to Bloomington, Ind., to take on Big Ten foes Indiana (9 a.m.) and Ohio State (12:30 p.m.) in a Big Ten double dual on Saturday (April 10).

Michigan will send three varsity boats, the first and second varsity eights, which are both looking to make it consecutive wins after defeating Clemson for their first wins of the season last Saturday (April 3), and a varsity four. U-M will also send a novice eight.

First Varsity Eight: Jennifer Entin (coxswain), Melisa Ongun, Ashley Kroll, Adrienne Mecham, Natalie Eisermann, Felice Mueller, Emily Eiffert, Lauren Schneider, Julia Darnton.

Second Varsity Eight: Kate Grimaldi (coxswain), Nellie Ruedig, Jordan Peek, Lindsey Healy, Cristina Fleix, Ariel Piotter, Kristen Henkels, Paige Heil, Olivia Klipa

Varsity Four: Erica Macke (coxswain), Sarah Gribler, April Newberry, Brittany Poston, Michaela Brown

Novice First Eight: Colleen Macke (coxswain), Kaitlin Cender, Sam Scholl, Jessie Rampton, Emily Reimann, Rachael Minore, Cori Meinert, Annie Fisher, Martha Alves.

Novice Second Eight: Jen Denike, Rachel Christensen, Becky Piks, Le Sova-Claypool, Ellen vonFoester, Danielle Prentice, Kendall McSweeny, Sarah Kucemba/Jane Sugiyama*, Amber Spears

Note: Sarah Kucemba will race against Indiana and Jane Sugiyama will race against Ohio State in the second novice eight.


Last Time Out
Michigan traveled to Charlottesville, Va., for the Big Ten/ACC Duals hosted by Virginia. The Wolverines took on third-ranked Virginia and, although they managed to keep things close, could not pull out any victories against the Cavaliers. The Wolverines fared much better against Clemson with the first and second varsity eights, picking up their first wins of the spring season against the Tigers. The first and second varsity eights handily defeated their Clemson counterparts with both boats finishing nearly two lengths better than the Tigers' boats. U-M's varsity four lost both races as did the Wolverine novice eight.

First Varsity Eight Named Big Ten Boat of the Week
U-M's first varsity eight was named the Big Ten Boat of the Week, the conference office announced on Tuesday (April 6). The first varsity eight defeated No. 11 Clemson and fell to No. 2 Virginia at the Big Ten/ACC Double Dual on Saturday (April 3). The win over Clemson gave the first varsity eight its first win of the spring season. Michigan crossed the line with a time of 6:39.41, more than two lengths ahead of its Clemson counterpart (6:51.8).

Last weekend, Michigan's first varsity eight was comprised of Margaret Deinek (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Grosse Pointe South), 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), Felice Mueller (Cleveland Height, Ohio/Promfret School (Conn.), Emily Eiffert (Honeoye, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lime), Lauren Schneider (Rochester, Mich./Stony Creek) and Julia Darnton (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer).

In The Polls
U-M earned a preseason ranking of No. 9 from the USRowing Coaches Association released on March 17. Michigan checks in at No. 10 this week after defeating No. 11 Clemson and falling to No. 2 Virginia at the Big Ten/ACC Double Dual on April 3. U-M is joined in the rankings by fellow Big Ten squads Michigan State (7), Wisconsin (11) and Ohio State (13). Iowa, Minnesota and Indiana are also receiving votes in this week's poll.

U-M at the Big Ten Double Dual
This will be U-M's fourth appearance in the Big Ten Double Dual. The Wolverines have a 5-1 record in the event and last dropped a race to rival, Ohio State, during the 2006-07 event in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan has raced Big Ten counterparts Indiana, Ohio State, Iowa and Wisconsin in the Big Ten Double Dual and will take on Ohio State and Indiana in this year's event.

Top 10 Opponents
U-M consistently takes on the top programs in the country and this season is no different. U-M fell to No. 2 Virginia last weekend at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and dropped its season opener to No. 7 Michigan State. Michigan has a 5-2 record against opponents ranked in the top 10 over the last two seasons and last season opened the spring season with a win over No. 2 Princeton and No. 8 Brown. This season, Michigan will take on six squads ranked in the top 10 of the USRowing/CRCA Women's Collegiate Rowing Preseason Division I Poll.

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 Height, Ohio/Promfret School) all return this season. 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) also 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 also 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 lead by captains and seniors, Maggie Cooper (Lake Oswego, Ore./St. Mary's Academy), Kristen Henkels (Scotch Plains, N.J./Scotch Plains-Fanwood), Ashley Kroll (Edmonds, Wash./Kamiak) and Adrienne Mecham (Lake Steven's, Wash./Lake Stevens).

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 is in his 14th season at the helm of the University of Michigan women's rowing team. Rothstein has guided the Wolverines to 10 NCAA Tournament 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 Annie 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.

Sunday, April 18 -- at Ohio State, vs. Southern California, vs. Michigan State (Columbus, Ohio)
Saturday, May 1 -- at Big Ten Championships (East Lansing, Mich.)

Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423