Wolverine Update with Shannon Winchell, Final Regatta

May 29, 2013

Hello from Bloomington, Indiana! The team arrived in Bloomington Saturday evening, and we are busy preparing for our biggest regatta of the season: the NCAA Championships. This year, 22 teams have been invited to compete for the coveted title of national champion, and the Wolverines are ready for the three days of racing this upcoming weekend. Until the racecourse opens Wednesday afternoon, we are training out of Indiana University's boathouse with a couple other teams who have arrived early.

Since the last blog, the Michigan rowing team competed at the Big Ten Championships. As a team, we finished in second place to Ohio State. Every boat medaled, and four members of the varsity eight were selected for the All-Big Ten first and second teams. Within our team, Melisa Ongun, a fifth-year senior, received the Michigan Rower of the Year award. This award is one of the most prestigious honors an athlete can receive on the Michigan rowing team. Selected by her teammates, Colleen Macke was chosen as the teammate who most represents the essence of a Michigan Athlete -- the Maize and Blue Award. Colleen has been a force here at Michigan since her freshman year and will be greatly missed when she graduates this year.

This year, the NCAA Championships are being held at the same lake that the Big Ten Championships were held the last several years. At Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, the Big Ten teams have a certain home-course advantage in that Michigan, Ohio State, and Wisconsin raced there just two weeks ago. Being a great course for rowing championships, conditions look very good for this weekends racing.

Since we are celebrating Memorial Day, the team has been given the afternoon off and will be writing letters to thank military service members for all their hard work. This activity is dear to the team's heart because All-America alumni and current team manager Ashley Kroll's sister is an active member in the United States Military. This activity keeps us in a positive spirit as we prepare for the final regatta of the season.

Shout out to the five seniors who have led this team through a great year: Colleen Macke, Kate Grimaldi, Shannon Stief, Melisa Ongun and Samantha Scholl. You will all be dearly missed, and to the incoming freshmen, get ready for a great year of rowing during the 2013-2014 season.