First Water #7: Wolverines to Head to NCAA Championships
Mark Rothstein

May 25, 2011

Fri-Sun., May 27-29 -- at NCAA Championships (Gold River, Calif.)
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Sites: NCAA | Washington State (Host Institution)

The 14th-ranked University of Michigan women's rowing team heads to its 12th NCAA Championships in 15 seasons this weekend (Friday through Sunday, May 27-29). The event will be held on Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif.

U-M will be up against the first varsity eight, second varsity eight and first varsity four boats from 15 other squads. Each event crowns a national champion while also accruing points toward a team national champion. The weekend begins with heats on Friday morning (May 27), progresses to semifinals on Saturday (May 28) and concludes with finals on Sunday (May 29).

Michigan is seeking its first national title. In 2001, U-M's second varsity eight won an individual boat title and the first varsity four took second, helping the squad to a runner-up team finish. In 2003, the first varsity eight took home a silver medal en route to leading the Maize and Blue to a fourth-place team standing.

Schedule of Events (Times are PDT)

Friday, May 27
8:30 a.m. -- First Varsity Eight Heat 1 (Lanes 1-5) -- Princeton, Virginia, Michigan State, Michigan, Washington
8:45 a.m. -- First Varsity Eight Heat 2 (Lanes 1-5) -- California, Brown, Clemson, Dartmouth, Yale
9 a.m. -- First Varsity Eight Heat 3 (Lanes 1-6) -- Stanford, Southern California, Washington State, Ohio State, Harvard, Wisconsin
9: 15 a.m. -- Second Varsity Eight Heat 1 (Lanes 1-5) -- Princeton, Brown, Ohio State, Clemson, Michigan
9: 30 a.m. -- Second Varsity Eight Heat 2 (Lanes 1-5) -- Stanford, Yale, Dartmouth, Southern California, Washington
9:45 a.m. -- Second Varsity Eight Heat 3 (Lanes 1-6) -- Virginia, California, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Washington State, Harvard
10 a.m. -- First Varsity Four Heat 1 (Lanes 1-5) -- California, Ohio State, Princeton, Clemson, Michigan State
10:15 a.m. -- First Varsity Four Heat 2 (Lanes 1-5) -- Washington, Wisconsin, Washington State, Yale, Harvard
10:30 a.m. -- First Varsity Four Heat 3 (Lanes 1-6) -- Southern California, Virginia, Michigan, Brown, Stanford, Dartmouth
3:30 p.m. -- First Varsity Eight Repechage
3:45 p.m. -- Second Varsity Eight Repechage
4 p.m. -- First Varsity Four Repechage

Saturday, May 28
9 a.m. -- First Varsity Eight Semifinal 1
9:15 a.m. -- First Varsity Eight Semifinal 2
9:30 a.m. -- Second Varsity Eight Semifinal 1
9:45 a.m. -- Second Varsity Eight Semifinal 2
10 a.m. -- First Varsity Four Semifinal 1
10:15 a.m. -- First Varsity Four Semifinal 2

Sunday, May 29
9:50 a.m. -- First Varsity Four Third Final
10:05 a.m. -- First Varsity Four Petite Final
10:25 a.m. -- First Varsity Four Grand Final
10:40 a.m. -- Second Varsity Eight Third Final
10:55 a.m. -- Second Varsity Eight Petite Final
11:15 a.m. -- Second Varsity Eight Grand Final
11:30 a.m. -- First Varsity Eight Third Final
11:45 a.m. -- First Varsity Eight Petite Final
12:05 a.m. -- First Varsity Eight Grand Final

The top three crews of each preliminary heat will move on to the semifinals, while the remaining crews move into the repechage heat. The first three crews in the repechage heat will advance to the semifinals, while the remaining crews advance to the third final for places 13-16. The first three crews in the semifinal move on to the grand final, while the remainder go to the petite final.

Place Points

Place  1V   2V   V4 
1st 48 32 16
2nd 45 30 15
3rd 42 28 14
4th 39 26 13
5th 36 24 12
6th 33 22 11
7th 30 20 10
8th 27 18 9
9th 24 16 8
10th 21 14 7
11th 18 12 6
12th 15 10 5
13th 12 8 4
14th 9 6 3
15th 6 4 2
16th 3 2 1


Going to Back to Cali
This will be the fifth time that U-M has competed at an NCAA Championships held on Lake Natoma (1999, 2004, '05, '10). As a team, U-M was fifth in 1999, third in 2004, eighth in 2005, and 11th in 2010. Complete NCAA Championships history can be found in the record book.

Last Time Out
The Wolverines were the runner-up at the Big Ten Championships on May 15 in Indianapolis. All six U-M boats reached the medal stand for the first time since 2001. Michigan's first and second varsity eights each won bronze medals, while the first varsity four gained a silver medal. The second varsity four placed third. Each of U-M's novice crews capped their season with a Big Ten championship.

In the Polls
Michigan enters the NCAA Championships with the No. 14 ranking in the country. The Wolverines are joined in the rankings by fellow Big Ten squads Michigan State (10), Ohio State (8) and Wisconsin (15). U-M earned a No. 11 preseason ranking from the USRowing Coaches Association on March 16.

Holm Voted Big Ten Freshman of the Year
A redshirt freshman, Chrissy Holm (North Oaks, Minn./Hill Murray) was named the Big Ten Conference's Freshman of the Year on May 18. She has switched between U-M's first and second varsity eights this spring. Most recently, she helped the first varsity eight finish third at the Big Ten Championships on May 15; the Wolverines placed second as a team at the event. On April 23, Holm and the second varsity eight won a pair of races against Ohio State and Washington State, resulting in a Big Ten Boat of the Week honor.

Holm is the fourth Wolverine in program history to garner the Big Ten Freshman of the Year accolade. Current junior Melisa Ongun (Chicago, Ill./Lincoln Park) won the award in 2009, while Leah Ketcheson (2002-05) and Adrienne Mecham (2007-10) received the honor in 2002 and 2007, respectively.

CRCA Honorees
The Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association recognized seven members of the University of Michigan women's rowing team on May 24. Assistant coach Kate Strum was tabbed the Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year, while senior Natalie Eisermann (Key Biscayne, Fla./School for Advanced Studies-Wolfson) (first team), junior Felice Mueller (Cleveland Heights, Ohio (Pomfret School, Conn.) (first team) andjunior Julia Darnton (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) (second team) garnered CRCA All-Central Region. Additionally, Darnton, junior Lindsey Healy (Troy, Mich./Madison Heights Bishop Foley), sophomore Colleen Macke (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) and senior Lauren Schneider (Rochester, Mich./Stoney Creek) were named CRCA Scholar Athletes.

Veteran Presence
U-M returns 12 rowers that competed at the 2010 NCAA Championships. Melisa Ongun, Emily Eiffert (Honeoye, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima), Felice Mueller, Natalie Eisermann and Julia Darnton raced in U-M's top boat at the 2010 NCAA Championships and took 11th place. Nellie Ruedig (Concord, N.H./St Paul's School), Shannon Stief (Mukilteo, Wash./Kamiak), Lauren Schneider, Cristina Felix (San Marino, Calif./San Marino), Ariel Piotter (Bridgman, Mich./Bridgman), and Lindsey Healy all competed in U-M's second varsity eight which took sixth place at the NCAA Championships, while Paige Heil (Fenton, Mich./Fenton) returns as a member of U-M's first varsity four from last season.

Senior Leadership
The U-M rowing team is under the leadership of seniors Taylor Day (Erie, Pa./Mercyhurst Preparatory School), Natalie Eisermann, Jennifer Entin (Corona Del Mar, Calif./Corona Del Mar), Brittany Poston (Onsted, Mich./Lenawee Christian), Nellie Ruedig and Lauren Schneider. Each of U-M's seniors is a four-year member of the U-M rowing team and has varsity level experience.

Welcome Aboard!
There are several new faces joining the rowing squad this season. U-M welcomes nine newcomers to the squad this season. Joining the varsity squad are: Nikki Dahlberg-Seeth (Orinda, Calif./Miramonte), Chrissy Holm, Emily Idoni (Fenton, Mich./Fenton), Priscilla Livingston (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley), Carrie Lofgren (Northbrook, Ill./Loyola Academy), Bryna Oleshansky (Knoxville, Tenn./Bearden), Emily Sullenberger (San Jose, Calif./Prospect), Sarah Trovato (Sewickley, Pa./Quaker Valley) and Shannon Winchell (Sacramento, Calif./St. Francis).

Follow Michigan Rowing on Twitter, Facebook
Make sure to keep up with the latest happening with the Michigan women's rowing team by following us on Twitter (Michigan_rowing) and on Facebook (Michigan women's rowing).


First Varsity Eight: Jennifer Entin (coxswain), Julia Darnton, Natalie Eisermann, Felice Mueller, Bryna Oleshansky, Chrissy Holm, Paige Heil, Emily Eiffert, Lindsey Healy.

Second Varsity Eight: Taylor Day (coxswain), Nellie Ruedig, Shannon Stief, Shannon Winchell, Cristina Felix, Emily Idoni, Ariel Piotter, Lauren Schneider, Olivia Klipa.

First Varsity Four: Colleen Macke (coxswain), Emily Sullenberger, Priscilla Livingston, Nikki Dahlberg-Seeth, Carrie Lofgren.

Contact: David Ablauf, Matt Trevor (734) 763-4423