Week #7: Michigan to Wrap Up 2012 Season at NCAA Championships

May 21, 2012

Chrissy Holm Video icon | Julia Darnton Video icon | Thursday Practice

Fri-Sun., May 25-27 -- at NCAA Championships (West Windsor, N.J.)
Twitter Updates | Webstream: NCAA.com

The University of Michigan women's rowing team (No. 2 CRCA/USRowing Coaches) will head to West Windsor, N.J., this weekend in search of the program's first-ever NCAA national championship. The Wolverines hold the second seed in the first and second varsity eight races and the 11th seed in the varsity four race. Michigan has placed as high as second in the national event in 2001, earning a second varsity eight championship that year. The Wolverines have also placed fourth (2003), fifth (1998, 1999 and 2000), eighth (2002 and 2005), ninth (2009), 11th (2010) and 13th (2011).

The event's races will be streamed on NCAA.com and up-to-the-second updates will be available on Michigan rowing's Twitter page.

The Wolverines enter the event fresh off their conference-leading fifth Big Ten title on May 13 in Indianapolis, Ind. Michigan clawed back from third place after the first four races of the Big Ten Championships and earned wins in both the first and second varsity eight events to capture the crown. Julia Darnton (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer), Emily Eiffert (Honeoye Falls, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) and Felice Mueller (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Pomfret School, Conn.) were named to the All-Big Ten first team, while Lindsey Healy (Troy, Mich./Madison Heights Bishop Foley) and Melisa Ongun (Chicago, Ill./Lincoln Park) were selected to the All-Big Ten second team. Kate Grimaldi was named Michigan's sportsmanship honoree.

Michigan also brought home all three Big Ten individual awards this season for the first time in program history, as Mueller (Athlete of the Year), Jessica Eiffert (Honeoye Falls, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) (Freshman of the Year) and Mark Rothstein (Coach of the Year) were all honored for their efforts. It was just the third time in conference history that one school has swept all three awards (Michigan State in 2005 and 2008).

The other 15 schools represented include: Brown, California, Cornell, Harvard, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Princeton, Stanford, Southern California, UCLA, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Yale. In 2011, Brown captured its seventh national title.


Friday, May 25
9 a.m. - First Varsity Eight Heat 1
9:15 a.m. - First Varsity Eight Heat 2
9:30 a.m. - First Varsity Eight Heat 3
9:45 a.m. - Second Varsity Eight Heat 1
10 a.m. - Second Varsity Eight Heat 2
10:15 a.m. - Second Varsity Eight Heat 3
10:30 a.m. - Varsity Four Heat 1
10:45 a.m. - Varsity Four Heat 2
11 a.m. - Varsity Four Heat 3
3:30 p.m. - First Varsity Eight Repechage
3:45 p.m. - Second Varsity Eight Repechage
4 p.m. - Varsity Four Repechage

Saturday, May 26
9 a.m. - First Varsity Eight Semifinals
9:15 a.m. - First Varsity Eight Semifinals
9:30 a.m. - Second Varsity Eight Semifinals
9:45 a.m. - Second Varsity Eight Semifinals
10 a.m. - Varsity Four Semifinals
10:15 a.m. - Varsity Four Semifinals

Sunday, May 27
9:50 a.m. - Varsity Four Third Level Final (places 13-16)
10:05 a.m. - Varsity Four Petite Final (places 7-12)
10:25 a.m. - Varsity Four Grand Final (places 1-6)
10:40 a.m. - Second Varsity Eight Third Level Final (places 13-16)
10:55 a.m. - Second Varsity Eight Petite Final (places 7-12)
11:15 a.m. - Second Varsity Eight Grand Final (places 1-6)
11:30 a.m. - First Varsity Eight Third Level Final (places 13-16)
11:45 a.m. - First Varsity Eight Petite Final (places 7-12)
12:05 p.m. - First Varsity Eight Grand Final (places 1-6)
12:30 p.m. - Awards Ceremony

First Varsity Eight: Colleen Macke (Coxswain), Melisa Ongun, Julia Darnton, Felice Mueller, Emily Eiffert, Jessica Eiffert, Bryna Oleshansky, Lindsey Healy, Shannon Stief

Second Varsity Eight: Kate Grimaldi (Coxswain), Ariel Piotter, Chrissy Holm, Priscilla Livingston, Emily Idoni, Cristina Felix, April Newberry, Paige Heil, Taylor Schubert

First Varsity Four: Breanne White (Coxswain), Olivia Klipa, Lauren Anderson, Shannon Winchell, Nicole Dressler

Michigan picked up one first-place vote and holds a second-place ranking in the May 16 CRCA/USRowing Coaches Poll, trailing first-place Cal by 58 points. Ohio State (fourth), Wisconsin (12th) and Michigan State (16th) round out the Big Ten representatives in the Top 20.

The varsity squad includes 10 seniors: Ariel Piotter (Bridgman, Mich./Bridgman), April Newberry (Paris, Mich./Reed City), Felice Mueller (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Pomfret School, Conn), Olivia Klipa (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny), Paige Heil (Fenton, Mich./Fenton), Lindsey Healy (Troy, Mich./Madison Heights Bishop Foley), Cristina Felix (San Marino, Calif./San Marino), Emily Eiffert(Honeoye Falls, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima), Nicole Dressler (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) and Julia Darnton (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer).

This year's squad welcomes four freshmen: Emily Bazilian (Wilton, Conn./Wilton), Andréa Cara (Darien, Conn./Darien), Jessica Eiffert (Honeoye Falls, N.Y./Honeoye Falls) and Shannon Lynch (Lake Forest, Ill./Loyola).

Freshman Jessica Eiffert competed for the U.S. squad at the Rowing World Junior Championships in August, capturing a gold medal. Alumnae Stesha Carle, Sarah Trowbridge and Janine Hanson competed at the World Championships over the summer as well.

Mark Rothstein is in his 15th season at the helm of the University of Michigan women's rowing team. Rothstein has guided the Wolverines to 12 NCAA Tournament appearances and four Big Ten Championships, including back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001.

Rothstein's staff is made up of assistants Brett Sickler and Annie Knill as well as graduate assistant Nellie Ruedig. Sickler is entering her third year as an assistant coach, while Knill, who spent three years as a graduate assistant for the women's rowing team, is entering her first year at the position of assistant coach. Ruedig, a first- year graduate assistant coach, graduated from U-M last year with two years of varsity letters in rowing, as well as a double major in economics and philosophy.

Twitter: @umichrowing
Facebook: www.facebook.com/michiganrowing

Sunday, May 13 -- at Big Ten Championships, 1st of 7 teams