First Water #6: U-M to Go for Big Ten Championship in Indy

May 11, 2011

Sunday, May 15
-- at Big Ten Championship (Indianapolis, Ind.), 9 a.m.
Event Preview

Indianapolis Rowing Center:
Big Ten Conference:
Twitter: @BigTenChamps

Schedule of Events
9 a.m. -- Second Novice Eight (U-M seeded 1st, lane 4)
9:20 a.m. -- First Novice Eight (U-M seeded 3rd, lane 5)
9:40 a.m. -- Second Varsity Four (U-M seeded 4th, lane 2)
10 a.m. -- First Varsity Four (U-M seeded 3rd, lane 5)
10:20 a.m. -- Second Varsity Eight (U-M seeded 2nd, lane 3)
10:40 a.m. -- First Varsity Eight (U-M seeded 4th, lane 2)
Noon -- Awards Presentation

The 16th-ranked University of Michigan women's rowing team travels to Indianapolis, Ind., for the 2011 Big Ten Rowing Championships on Sunday (May 15). The Indianapolis Rowing Center is hosting the event at Eagle Creek Park, marking the first time the Big Ten Championship is being held at a neutral site. The 2012 and 2013 Big Ten Championships will also be held at Eagle Creek Park.

The setup for the Big Ten Championships has been overhauled and the stakes have been heightened. Each event will be seven lanes wide and finals only, rather than the previous format that involved two morning heats and two afternoon finals. With the dissolution of the Central/South Region Sprints, the Big Ten Championships are the final races before the 16 bids for the NCAA Championships are announced on Tuesday, May 17, at 5 p.m. The winner of the Big Ten Championships does not receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships, however.

Despite the format changes to the Big Ten Championships the scoring system remains intact. The Big Ten Conference champion will be determined from the accumulation of points based on the completed races and the points associated with the place of the finish in each race. If there is a tie in points for the conference team championship the conference championship will be awarded to the team whose boat finished higher in the first varsity eight race.

Big Ten Network is covering the event, but will not air its broadcast until May 28 at noon.

Place Points

Race 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
First Varsity Eight 63 54 45 36 27 18 9
Second Varsity Eight 42 36 30 24 18 12 6
First Varsity Four 21 18 15 12 9 6 3
Second Varsity Four 14 12 10 8 6 4 2
First Novice Eight 14 12 10 8 6 4 2
Second Novice Eight 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Each of U-M's six boats earned top-four seeds. If seedings hold, then Michigan would take fourth place (112 points). Michigan State and Ohio State are seeded to tie with 133 points apiece, while Wisconsin is slated third (123). Minnesota (62), Indiana (48) and Iowa (33) are expected to finish fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.


Team 1V8 2V8 1V4 2V4 1N8 2N8
Indiana 5 6 7 7 6 7
Iowa 7 7 5 6 7 6
Michigan 4 3 2 4 2 1
Michigan State 2 1 4 3 5 2
Minnesota 6 5 6 5 4 3
Ohio State 1 4 1 1 3 5
Wisconsin 3 2 3 1 4 2


Circle City Success
The Maize and Blue has performed admirably in previous regattas held at Eagle Creek Park. At the 2002 NCAA Championships the Wolverines finished eighth as a team. In 2003, U-M's first varsity eight, which included current assistant coach Brett Sickler, earned runner-up honors to establish a program best in the event. Michigan finished fourth as a team in 2003.

Last Time Out
The Wolverines have not competed since their double dual against then-No. 11 Ohio State and then-No. 17 Washington State on April 23 in Columbus, Ohio. The first varsity eight lost both its races -- by open water to the Buckeyes and by three-quarters of a length to the Cougars. U-M's second varsity eight had a strong day, posting clear victories over OSU and WSU. The first varsity four split its races, losing by open water against Washington State before earning a narrow win against Ohio State. The second varsity four took third in each of its races against Ohio State and Michigan State. Both novice teams claimed a pair of open-water wins.

In the Polls
U-M earned a No. 11 preseason ranking from the USRowing Coaches Association on March 16. This week, U-M checks in at No. 16 heading into the postseason. The Wolverines are joined in the rankings by fellow Big Ten squads Michigan State (8), Ohio State (10) and Wisconsin (13).

Veteran Presence
U-M returned 12 rowers that competed at the 2010 NCAA Championships. Melisa Ongun (Chicago, Ill./Lincoln Park), Emily Eiffert (Honeoye, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima), Felice Mueller (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/ Promfret School [Conn.]), Natalie Eisermann (Key Biscayne, Fla./School for Advanced Studies -Wolfson) and Julia Darnton (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) raced in U-M's top boat at the 2010 NCAA Championships and took 11th place. Nellie Ruedig (Concord, N.H./St Paul's School), Shannon Stief (Mukilteo, Wash./Kamiak), Lauren Schneider (Rochester, Mich./Stoney Creek), Cristina Felix (San Marino, Calif./San Marino), Ariel Piotter (Bridgman, Mich./Bridgman), and Lindsey Healy (Troy, Mich./Madison Heights Bishop Foley) all competed in U-M's second varsity eight at the NCAA Championships which took sixth place, while Paige Heil (Fenton, Mich./Fenton) returns as a member of U-M's first varsity four from last season.

Senior Leadership
The U-M rowing team is under the leadership of seniors Taylor Day (Erie, Pa./Mercyhurst Preparatory School), Natalie Eisermann (Key Biscayne, Fla./School for Advanced Studies-Wolfson), Jennifer Entin (Corona Del Mar, Calif./Corona Del Mar), Brittany Poston (Onsted, Mich./Lenawee Christian), Nellie Ruedig (Concord, N.H./St Paul's School) and Lauren Schneider (Rochester Hills, Mich./Stoney Creek). Each of U-M's seniors is a four-year member of the U-M rowing team and has varsity level experience.

Welcome Aboard!
U-M welcomed nine newcomers to the squad this season. Joining the varsity squad are: Nikki Dahlberg-Seeth (Orinda, Calif./Miramonte), Chrissy Holm (North Oaks, Minn./Hill-Murray), Emily Idoni (Fenton, Mich./Fenton), Priscilla Livingston (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley), Carrie Lofgren (Northbrook, Ill./Loyola Academy), Bryna Oleshansky (Knoxville, Tenn./Bearden), Emily Sullenberger (San Jose, Calif./Prospect), Sarah Torvato (Sewickley, Pa./Quaker Valley) and Shannon Winchell (Sacramento, Calif./St. Francis).

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First Varsity Eight: Jennifer Entin (coxswain), Julia Darnton, Natalie Eisermann, Felice Mueller, Bryna Oleshansky, Chrissy Holm, Paige Heil, Emily Eiffert, Lindsey Healy.

Second Varsity Eight: Taylor Day (coxswain), Nellie Ruedig, Shannon Stief, Cristina Felix, Shannon Winchell, Emily Idoni, Ariel Piotter, Lauren Schneider, Olivia Klipa.

First Varsity Four: Colleen Macke (coxswain), Priscilla Livingston, Nikki Dahlberg-Seeth, Brittany Poston, Carrie Lofgren.

Second Varsity Four: Kate Grimaldi (coxswain), Rachael Minore, Emily Sullenberger, Michaela Brown, Jessie Rampton.

Novice First Eight: Bree White (cox), Tara Foley, Lauren Anderson, Sadie Smith, Taylor Schubert, Michaela Keady, Lena Pfeiffer, Sarah Ziker, Hayley Yudelman

Novice Second Eight: Karli Mayer (cox), Madeline Dibble, Alexa Serwinski, Sarah Trovato, Alyssa Owen, Jane Petoskey, Hannah Jackson, Abbey Thomas, Kathleen Duemling.

Tuesday, May 17
-- NCAA Selection Show (, 5 p.m.
Fri-Sun., May 27-29
-- at NCAA Championships (Sacramento, Calif.)

Contact: David Ablauf, Matt Trevor (734) 763-4423