May 15, 2013
Sunday, May 19 -- at Big Ten Championships (Indianapolis, Ind.), 9 a.m.
The 13th-ranked University of Michigan rowing team will compete in the Big Ten Championships this Sunday (May 19) in Indianapolis, Ind. Action starts at 9 a.m.
Admission to the championship is free to the public; however, there is a $6 fee per car to gain entry to the park.
Second Novice Eight -- Dani Cipinko, Reilley Jones, Maddie Shields, Emma Burke, Hannah Graham, Michele Hill, Catherine Sprague-Manrow, Bridget Karsten, Anna Anthony
Michigan is ranked 13th in the most-recent CRCA/US Rowing Coaches poll released on May 8. The Wolverines list 10 spots behind Big Ten rival and third-ranked Ohio State and are one slot ahead of 14th-ranked Wisconsin and seven slots in front of 20th-ranked Minnesota.
U-M has been listed in the top 20 of all seven polls this season, ranking seventh, eighth and 13th for the past five polls.
Michigan looks to claim its Big Ten-leading sixth conference crown. The Maize and Blue led Michigan State (three) and Ohio State (three) for the league lead in all-time championships.
The Wolverines look to repeat as Big Ten champions for the third time in school history. U-M won back-to-back titles the first two years the championship was held (2000 and 2001) and again claimed consecutive crowns during the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Michigan has placed in the top two at the Big Ten Championships nine of 13 years that the conference rowing meet has been held. Michigan has claimed five Big Ten team titles (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2012).
Senior Melisa Ongun is the team's only returning All-Big Ten performer from last season. Ongun earned all-conference second team accolades after rowing in the 1V8 boat in 2012. She has been a member of the 1V8 each race this season.
Senior coxswain Kate Grimaldi heads into the Big Ten Championships as the coxswain for the 1V8 boat. The team's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient last season, Grimaldi directed the 2V8 to an undefeated season in 2012 and throughout the early portion of this season. She climbed into the director's seat in the 1V8 at Princeton. This will be the second race that Grimaldi will be the coxswain position in the 1V8 boat.
Sophomore port/starboard Jessica Eiffert helps lead the first varsity eight after earning Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2012. Eiffert helped the 1V8 earn conference Boat of the Week accolades three times last season and once this season.
Macke is a candidate for Academic All-America honors. She is the lone returning All-American from last season's squad after earning Pocock All-America second team accolades. She was named to the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) all-region and scholar athlete teams a year ago.
This will be the final Big Ten Championships appearance for five senior rowers: coxswain Kate Grimaldi, coxswain Colleen Macke, port Melisa Ongun, starboard Samantha Scholl and starboard Shannon Stief.
The women's rowing teams selected a six-person leadership council for the 2013 season. The student-athletes making up the council are Colleen Macke, Melisa Ongun, Bryna Oleshansky, Sarah Trovato, Alex Spaulding and Traci Carson.
LAST YEAR AT BIG TENS
The fifth-ranked Wolverines found themselves in third place in the standings heading into the final two races of the Big Ten Championships at Eagle Creek Park but wins in the first and second varsity eight races earned Michigan a conference-best fifth Big Ten team title. The championship marked the first league crown since 2004 for the Wolverines. U-M began the event with third-place finishes in both the first and second novice eight events before earning a second-place finish in the second varsity four and a third-place finish in the first varsity four. After four races, Michigan was looking up at Ohio State and Wisconsin in the championship standings, trailing the first-place Buckeyes by 13 points. The back-to-back varsity eight wins secured the title for U-M.
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