Michigan Set for Big Ten Championships on Sunday

May 13, 2014

Big Ten Championships Preview

Sunday, May 18 -- at Big Ten Championships (Indianapolis, Ind.), 9 a.m.

The No. 9-ranked University of Michigan rowing team will head to Eagle Creek Park, Ind,. for the Big Ten Rowing Championships on Sunday (May 18), a seven-lane, finals-only event beginning at 9 a.m. The Wolverines are in search of their sixth Big Ten championship in program history, having won the conference title in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2012.

"It will be a big challenge with the strength of the Big Ten this year," Michigan head coach Mark Rothstein said. "We know that we're going to race our best race, and I think we're really looking forward to the opportunity. Each of our boats knows it's going to be really competitive, and they're excited to race."

The Wolverines enter the weekend as the top seed in the third varsity four race and the No. 2 seed in the 1V8, 2V8, 2V4, 2N8 and 2V4 races. Several Michigan boats carry winning streaks into the event, including the first varsity eight crew, which has won six races in a row.

"It's nice to be in the middle lanes," Rothstein said. "On some courses seeding can be a factor if you get a cross wind, but this course is very fair."

The 1V8 crew earned Big Ten Boat of the Week honors on April 15, three days after they began their current winning streak with wins against Minnesota and Wisconsin in a Big Ten Double Dual. Michigan's second novice eight boat has won four races in a row, while the 2V8, 2V4, 3V4, and 1N8 crews have won three in a row.

"I think the focus of our team has been very good," Rothstein said. "I think our team is getting to the level we thought we would be. It's taken a little longer than we thought, but this is the fastest we've been, and so it's just a matter of whether it's fast enough to beat some really good teams."

9 a.m. -- Second Novice Eights
9:20 a.m. -- First Novice Eights
9:40 a.m. -- Third Varsity Fours
10 a.m. -- Second Varsity Fours
10:20 a.m. -- First Varsity Fours
10:40 a.m. -- Second Varsity Eights
11 a.m. -- First Varsity Eights
Noon -- Awards Presentation

All times ET

PROBABLE LINEUPS (subject to change)

1V8 - Hannah Sherman (coxswain), Jessica Eiffert, Bryna Oleshansky, Shannon Winchell, Chrissy Holm, Amanda Elmore, Emily Idoni, Tara Foley, Louisa Freeman

2V8 - Francesca Derteano (coxswain), Arielle Sanders, Karla McDaniel, Carrie Lofgren, Taylor Schubert, Kaitlin Wright, Sam Heron, Alex Spaulding, Emily Sullenberger

1V4 - Emma Knorps (coxswain), Priscilla Livingston, Ty Wellik, Sarah Trovato, Allison Boss

2V4 - Sierra Lash (coxswain), Madeline Dibble, Abbey Thomas, Michaela Keady, Andrea Johnson

3V4 - Destiny Mack (coxswain), Alyssa Owen, Adena Coste, Hannah Moscati, Kathleen Duemling 

1N8 - Sierra Bain (coxswain), Laura Foster, Tessa Yurko, Lauren Gilbert, Lexie Beemer, Johanna Buschhaus, Kara Puidokas, Jordan Scott, Susie Stevens

2N8 - Anna Rode (coxswain), Emily Butte, Kelsi Harden, Gabrielle Lantis, Kate Panter, Mariel Ziperski, Mallory Jammett, Kinsey Vear, Amanda Chamberlain

• U-M has placed in the top two at the Big Ten Championships in 10 of 14 years that the conference rowing meet has been held. Michigan has claimed five Big Ten team titles (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2012).

• The Wolverines have competed in head-to-head racing this spring against four of six Big Ten opponents, defeating Minnesota and Wisconsin on April 12 in a Big Ten Double Dual and Michigan State on May 3, with all three victories coming on points using the Big Ten's scoring system. Michigan's first race of the spring season came against Ohio State on March 29, with the Wolverines winning the 1V4, 3V4, 1N8, and 2N8 races against the Buckeyes.

• Michigan is ranked ninth in the most-recent CRCA/US Rowing Coaches poll released on May 7. The Wolverines are one of five Big Ten teams ranked, joining No. 2 Ohio State, No. 13 Indiana, No. 15 Wisconsin and No. 20 Michigan State.

• After missing Michigan's final races of the regular season against Michigan State and Louisville due to injury, junior Jessica Eiffert will return this week for the Wolverines in the 1V8 boat. Eiffert is Michigan's lone returning All-American (second team) and also earned Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association All-Region first team honors in 2013.

• Senior Bryna Oleshansky earned All-Big Ten second team honors last year and is Michigan's lone returning Big Ten award winner from last season. Oleshansky is a key member of Michigan's 1V8 crew.

• Eiffert and Oleshansky were invited to the 2014 USRowing U23 National Team Selection Camp, beginning on June 8 at the University of California and continue on July 8 in Princeton, N.J., for final preparation for the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Varese, Italy.

• On April 15, Michigan's first varsity eight crew earned Big Ten Boat of the Week honors. In a Big Ten Double Dual against Minnesota and No. 15 Wisconsin on April 12, the Wolverines' 1V8 crew won its first pair of races in the spring season. Michigan's 1V8 crew -- Hannah Sherman (coxswain), Amanda Elmore, Chrissy Holm, Jessica Eiffert, Bryna Oleshansky, Tara Foley, Emily Idoni, Shannon Winchell and Louisa Freeman -- earned a win against Minnesota with a time of 6:34.6 in the morning session. The 1V8 crew improved their time by more than seven seconds in the afternoon session, clocking in at 6:27.3 to defeat Wisconsin by slight open water.

• Graduate student Amanda Elmore was accepted into the University of Michigan's Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Sciences (PIBS) in 2013 after a standout career in Purdue's well-regarded ARCA club program, including stints with the USRowing U23 Team. She decided to row at Michigan and earned a spot on the first varsity eight boat this season. Elmore rowed with senior Chrissy Holm at the U23 World Championships in 2012 and knew several members of the Michigan rowing team before joining the program. Elmore received an invitation to compete for a spot on the USRowing Senior National Team this summer. [ Story ]

• Senior Andrea Johnson was among the seven Michigan student-athletes honored as 2013-14 Rachael Townsend Community Service Award recipients. Johnson volunteered with the Michigan From the Heart program at Mott Children's Hospital and helped out at the Polar Plunge benefiting Special Olympics and Victors Day. She also spent time volunteering within the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and at Food Gatherers this year.

• The women's rowing team selected a four-person leadership council for the 2014 season. The student-athletes making up the council are seniors Tara Foley and Bryna Oleshansky and juniors Jessica Eiffert and Alex Spaulding.

• Head coach Mark Rothstein is in his 18th season at the helm of the women's varsity rowing program. Rothstein's teams have finished in the top five of the NCAA Championships a total of eight times, including two runner-up finishes (2001, '12).

Friday, May 30-Sunday, June 1 -- at NCAA Rowing Championships (Eagle Creek Park, Ind.)

Contact: Jeffrey Weinstein (734) 763-4423