May 16, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's rowing team (No. 2 CRCA/USRowing Coaches) swept the Big Ten individual awards on Wednesday (May 16), as Felice Mueller (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Pomfret School, Conn.) was named Athlete of the Year, Jessica Eiffert (Honeoye Falls, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) was selected as Freshman of the Year and Mark Rothstein was tabbed Coach of the Year.
Mueller, an All-Big Ten selection in 2011 and 2012, and Eiffert both spent the entire season in Michigan's first varsity boat, helping the crew to three straight Big Ten Boat of the Week awards. Michigan's 1V8 began the season with an impressive streak of seven straight victories, including wins over defending team national champion Brown and defending 1V8 national champion Princeton in March. The Wolverines' top boat posted eight wins in nine races overall this season and helped capture the Big Ten championship last Sunday (May 13) in Indianapolis, Ind.
Rothstein is being honored as Big Ten Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career after leading the Wolverines to a conference-best fifth Big Ten title. He also brought home the award in 2000, 2001 and 2004. Rothstein is the only coach in Big Ten history to win the award four times.
Mueller is the fourth Wolverine to garner Big Ten Athlete of the Year honors, joining Kate Johnson (2000, 2001), Erin Kopicki (2003) and Heather Mandoli (2004). Eiffert is the fifth Michigan athlete to be named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, along with Leah Ketcheson (2002), Adrienne Mecham (2007), Melisa Ongun (2009) and Chrissy Holm (2011).
Michigan State is the only other team to win all three individual awards in the same season, accomplishing the feat in 2005 and 2008.
Michigan recently earned its fourth straight team bid to the NCAA Championships, being named the second overall seed in both the first-and-second varsity eight events and 11th in the varsity four race. The 2012 NCAA rowing championships will take place from May 25-27 on Lake Mercer in West Windsor, N.J. [ Meet Information/Tickets ]
Contact: Rob Tillotson (734) 763-4423