May 28, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's rowing team will return to the site of its runner-up finish at the Big Ten Championships two weeks ago for the 2013 NCAA Championships. The competition will begin Friday, May 31, and run through Sunday, June 2, at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Ind.
"We are elated to be competing for a national championship against the best field in our sport," said head coach Mark Rothstein. "This competition has always brought the best out of our team, and I know that we will be ready for the challenge."
Michigan is one of 22 teams that earned the right to battle for the national title at 2013's final NCAA meet, which includes first varsity eight, second varsity eight and first varsity four races. The three boats from each school will compete for individual national titles while earning points towards the overall team championship.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS TICKET INFORMATION
All-session and single-session tickets for the NCAA Rowing Championships can be purchased at www.NCAA.com/tickets through Wednesday, May 29. Beginning Thursday, May 30, tickets are available on-site (cash only). All-session tickets are $40, while student and senior citizen tickets are $25. The tickets include all three days of competition. Single-session tickets are $15, while student and senior citizen are $10. Parking information is available at www.IndianaSportsCorp.org.
Michigan will race for the national championship for the sixth straight season and the 14th time in its 17 years as a varsity program.
The Wolverines will enter the championship as the 12th seed in the first varsity eight, 15th seed in the second varsity eight and the 13th seed in the varsity four.
Michigan earned one of the 11 at-large selections to the tournament field.
The Wolverines were the national runner-up in 2012, their highest finish ever at the NCAA Championships that was buoyed by the Wolverines' 2V8 boat's national title.
U-M has placed in the top five in eight of its 14 NCAA appearances and has placed in the top 10 a total of 12 times.
Michigan is ranked 13th in the most-recent CRCA/US Rowing Coaches poll released on May 15. 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 eight polls this season, ranking seventh, eighth and 13th during the year. The Wolverines have been listed 13th for the past five polls.
The NCAA Championships will be the final appearance in a Michigan boat for five senior rowers: coxswain Kate Grimaldi, coxswain Colleen Macke, port Melisa Ongun, starboard Samantha Scholl and starboard Shannon Stief.
Senior port Melisa Ongun and senior starboard Shannon Stief were selected as All-Big Ten first teamers following the conclusion of the conference championship. Ongun earned All-Big Ten first team honors this season after collecting second-team accolades last season. Stief earned Big Ten honors for the first time in her career.
Senior coxswain Kate Grimaldi and junior port/starboard Bryna Oleshansky were named to the all-conference second team. The team's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient last year, Grimaldi directed the 1V8 boat at the conference tournament after leading the 2V8 to the national title last year. Both Grimaldi and Oleshansky earned all-conference honors for the first time in their careers.
Senior coxswain Colleen Macke was selected as the team's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient for 2013. Macke, who directed the 2V8 at the conference tournament, was a Pocock All-American second team selection last season.
Head coach Mark Rothstein is in his 17th 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 and 2012).
LAST YEAR AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Wolverines earned a runner-up finish at the 2012 NCAA Championships held at Lake Mercer in West Windsor, N.J., falling five points behind the Virginia Cavaliers (87). U-M rowed to a 2V8 national championship, marking the second time in school history that Michigan earned a 2V8 national title. The Wolverines' second-place finished tied for the highest overall team finish (runner-up in 2001).
The varsity four was the first event of the day for Michigan and the boat finished in sixth place in the petite final and 12th place overall, earning five points in the standings for the team.
After more than an hour rain delay, racing resumed and Michigan's 2V8 boat was next up. Needing a win to keep the Wolverines realistically within striking distance for the team title, U-M's second varsity crew did what they have done all weekend and blew the field away from start to finish to close the season unbeaten. Michigan took an early lead in the 2V grand final and held strong for a near two-second victory over second-place Ohio State. The win put Michigan within five points of the championship heading into the 1V8 grand final.
The Wolverines jumped to a lead early in the 1V8 race, but Virginia showed the speed they had shown all weekend and rowed to an impressive boat-length victory to clinch the national title for the Cavaliers. Michigan finished the 1V8 race in second place and earned a runner-up finish in the overall team competition. It marks the second time in program history that the Wolverines have finished in second place overall (2001).
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