First Water #6: Wolverines Compete for Spot at NCAA Championships

May 13, 2010

Sat-Sun. May 15-16 -- at Central/South Region Sprints (Oak Ridge, Tenn.)

The University of Michigan rowing team heads to the Oak Ridge, Tenn., for this weekend's Central/South Region Sprints (Sat-Sun., May 15-May 16). There are 21 teams in the Central/South Region for which this weekend's regatta serves as the primary qualifying event for the 2010 NCAA Championships (May 28-30) in Gold River, Calif. There are 12 bids available for the NCAA Championships, which makes finishing in the top three important in the quest for an NCAA bid. In 2009, Michigan took home the Central title. The announcement for the 2010 NCAA Championships will be made via webcast on at 5 p.m. on May 19.

Central/South Region Sprints on the Web
Tennessee (Host Institution):

Michigan Schedule of Events

Saturday, May 15
9:20 a.m. - Open Four, Heat 3 (Lane 4)
9:50 a.m. - Novice Eight, Heat 2 (Lane 4)
10:20 a.m. - First Varsity Four, Heat 3 (Lane 4)
11a.m. - Second Varsity Eight, Heat 3 (Lane 3)
11: 40 a.m. - First Varsity Eight Heat 3(Lane 4)
2 p.m. - Open Four, Semifinals
2: 40 a.m. - Novice Eight, Semifinals
3 p.m. - First Varsity Four, Semifinals
3:40 p.m. - Second Varsity Eight, Semifinals
4:20 p.m. - First Varsity Eight, Semifinals
Sunday, May 16
9 a.m. - Open Four, D Final
9:10 a.m. - Second Varsity Eight, D Final
9:20 a.m. - First varsity Eight, D Final
9:30 a.m. - Open Four, C Final
9:40 a.m. - Novice Eight, C Final
9:50 a.m. - First Varsity Four, C Final
10 a.m. - Second Varsity Eight, C Final
10:10 a.m. - First Varsity Eight, C Final
10:20 a.m. - Open Four, B Final
10:30 a.m. - Novice Eight, B Final
10:40 a.m. - First Varsity Four, B Final
10:50 a.m. - Second Varsity Eight, B Final
11:00 a.m. - First Varsity Eight, B Final
11:10 p.m. - Open Four, A Final
11:20 a.m. - Novice Eight, A Final
11:30 a.m. - First Varsity Four, A Final
11:40 a.m. - Second Varsity Eight, A Final
11:50 a.m. - First Varsity Eight, A Final

The University of Tennessee women's athletics will serve as the host of the 2010 Central/South Region Sprints. Updated results and other information regarding the regatta can be found at

All 21 programs at the Central/South Region sprints mix together for heats, semifinals and finals. However, the regatta will crown separate regional champions as well as an overall champion at the awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon. There are five boat classifications for this regatta: first varsity eight, second varsity eight, first varsity four, novice eight and open four. Saturday morning's heats are the first step towards the progression for each boat to earn points for its team. While the progression for each boat classification is slightly different from the next, the basic standard is as follows: finish top three in the heats to advance to one of two A/B semifinals, then finish top three in the A/B semifinals to advance to the A final. Lower finishes in heats or semifinals eventually relegate a boat to B, C or D finals. Some schools have multiple entries in the novice eight and open four classifications -- only one boat is permitted to earn points for its team.

U-M is very familiar with most of the crews that will be attendance at this year's Central/South Region sprints. Every team that U-M has raced during the spring will be in attendance. Last season, U-M won the Central Region title, defeating Big Ten foes Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin.

First Varsity Eight: Margaret Deinek (coxswain), Melisa Ongun, Ashley Kroll, Adrienne Mecham, Emily Eiffert, Sarah Gribler, Natalie Eisermann, Felice Mueller, Julia Darnton

Second Varsity Eight: Jennifer Entin (coxswain), Nellie Ruedig, Shannon Stief, Lauren Schneider, Cristina Felix, Ariel Piotter, Kristen Henkels, Lindsey Healy, Katie Grossman

First Varsity Four: Erica Macke (coxswain), Maggie Cooper, Cori Meinert, Paige Heil, Jordan Peek

Second Varsity Four: Taylor Day (coxswain), Olivia Klips, Brittany Poston, Nicole Dressler, April Newberry

Fist Novice Eight: Colleen Macke (coxswain), Kaitlin Cender, Michaela Brown, Rachael Minore, Emily Reimnann, Jessie Rampton, Sam Scholl, Annie Fisher, Becky Piks

Saturday's weather in Oak Ridge calls for a high of 82 degrees with a 40-percent chance of scattered thunderstorms. The wind will be out of the northeast at four miles per hour. On Sunday, the high is 76 with a 60 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms. The wind will be out of the northeast at eight miles per hour.


Last Time Out
Michigan opened up championship season with a third-place showing at the 2010 Big Ten Championships hosted by Michigan State. U-M's third-place finish was its third top-three finish in the last four years. The Wolverines placed three crews on the medal stand led by a second-place finish from the second varsity eight. The novice eight also took second, while the varsity four earned a bronze medal. Wisconsin won its first-ever Big Ten championship in dominating fashion, posting 148 totals points 16 points ahead of second-place Michigan State, which finished with 132 points.

Heading Into the Postseason
U-M continues its quest for their first-ever NCAA championship this weekend at the Central/South Region sprints at Oak Ridge, Tenn. Should the Wolverines capture the Central championship, it will be their second consecutive central region title. Michigan's best result at the NCAA Championships was during the 2001 season when it took home runner-up. U-M has finished in the top five at the national championship six times, most recently taking third place in 2004.

In The Polls
There is no Division I poll this week but last week, Michigan checked in at No. 13. U-M was joined in the rankings by fellow Big Ten squads Michigan State (9), Wisconsin (10) and Ohio State (14). Minnesota and Iowa are also receiving votes in this week's poll.

According to this week's edition of the cMax rankings, U-M's first varsity eight is the 15th-fastest 1V8 in the country, 15.4 seconds behind the country's fastest eight, Princeton. Last week, U-M checked in ranked No. 13. U-M, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin are the only Big Ten first varsity eights ranked in the top 20.

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 in 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 five 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.

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 Tournament appearances and three Big Ten championships, including back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001.

Rothstein's staff is made up of two 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.

Upcoming Schedule
Fri-Sun., May 28-20 -- at NCAA Championships (Sacramento, Calif.)

Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423