Wolverine Update with Shannon Winchell

April 26, 2013

Racing season is officially into full spring. Just back from a large regatta in Clemson, South Carolina, the team is relentlessly preparing both physically and academically for the rest of the season.

Not only are we training for the upcoming championship season, we are also preparing for finals. It is really inspiring to travel with a team as big as Michigan's rowing team and observe the variety of activities on our plane ride home. From my seat, I watched junior Hayley Yudelman writing a term paper in the row in front of me, freshman Ty Wellik solving physics problems to my right, sophomore Allison Boss studying for her anthro-bio final next to me, all while I had the writings of Aristotle and Socrates spread out on my tray table. These are just four student-athletes working diligently on schoolwork while representing Michigan at a cross-conference regatta.

Last week, the Michigan Athletic Department celebrated the student-athletes who excelled academically throughout the previous academic year. The department held a banquet and more than half of the Michigan women's rowing team received academic honors. Senior Kate Grimaldi was also recognized as the president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, the student-athlete government. Additionally, 2012 graduate April Newbury was honored with the Raeders Raider's Spirit Award, which is given to an outstanding player coming off the bench for her performance in winning an NCAA championship in our second varsity eight last year.

Academics and athletics are not the only subjects on the mind of this team. At the banquet, it was also announced that we won the Rachel Townsend Community Service Award for the second year in a row. This award is given to the male and/or female team that has completed the most community service hours per roster spot. This year, the rowing team turned in more than 1,200 hours, equating to a little more than 40 hours per athlete!

Soon school will be over and we will enter "Camp Wolverine." Arguably, the best time of the year for Michigan rowing, Camp Wolverine is the time of year when school ends and the athletes get to focus solely on rowing. Freshmen move into Fletcher dorms, upperclassmen sublet apartments for the summer, and everyone narrows their focus to the big goal: Big Tens. For those of you not counting, Big Tens are 24 days from now, and it is time to start tapping into our peak speed. The best part about Camp Wolverine is the fellowship that develops within the squad. It's inspiring to be part of a team that rises to the challenge that comes with taking the title of Big Ten champions.

Michigan rowing approaches this championship season as the defenders of the Big Ten title. This team is enthusiastic about the upcoming weeks of training and racing. In two weeks, we travel to Princeton for our last regular-season race, and afterward we enter championship season. It'll be a great next few weeks of rowing, so keep up with our training on MGoBlue.com and follow us on twitter @umichrowing, and most importantly, Row Blue!