May 18, 2014
Indianapolis, Indiana - It was a frustrating day for Michigan State at the Big Ten Championships, as only one boat took away a medal and one other met its seed, as the Spartans finished fifth at the regatta on Eagle Creek Reservoir in Indianapolis, Indiana. MSU's varsity four, seeded fourth, took third place to earn a medal, while the fifth-seeded varsity eight met its seed.
MSU's varsity four was the team's top finisher on the day, while the Spartans earned a fourth-place finish in the second novice eight, fifth-place finishes in the novice eight and varsity eight, and finished seventh in both the second four and second varsity eight.
"Today was disappointing, but as I told the team, it does not mean that the year was disappointing," said 10th-year head coach Matt Weise. "We've made tremendous strides to bring the program back after last year. If you look at our lineup, we just don't have a lot of depth - there's a lot of first- and second-year rowers, even in our top boats. With experience and miles logged, we'll continue to get stronger. It's a process, and it's just that we'd like to move the process a little faster, I think. But all in all, these athletes did what we asked them to do."
MSU had two athletes make the All-Big Ten Teams. Senior Laura Moore (Battle Creek, Michigan) was a first team selection, while Sarah Kovacs (Grand Haven, Michigan) was named to the second team. Senior Sara Sherman was the team's Sportsmanship Award winner.
The Championship day started with the novice eight races, where MSU was seeded third in both classes. The novice eights came out strong, but fell off over the course of the 2,000-meter race and finished fifth, half a length back on fourth-place Indiana and a length behind Wisconsin. Michigan finished a length ahead of Ohio State to win the title . The second novice eight, the first race of the day, was a fourth-place finish for MSU behind Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio State; each of the top three finishers had an open-water margin over the boat behind.
In the fours, MSU did not enter a third varsity entry, and had a struggle in the second four (seventh). In the varsity four, the Spartans were as low as fifth in the first 1,000 meters, but made their move to get into third place just over the race's midpoint and came on strong. The boat which consisted of senior coxswain Rose Pawlowski (Grosse Pinte Farms, Michigan),sophomore stroke Alyssa Jurcak (Chicago, Illinois); three-seat Adrien Kawalek (Welland, Ontario), freshman two-seat Colleen McConnell (Evanston, Illinois) and senior bow-seat Hayley Jenkins (Napier, New Zealand) hung tough, and maintained their lead over the Wolverines throughout the sprint to take the bronze medal. OSU, which also won the 2V4, finished first in a time of 7:27.306; MSU had contact with Wisconsin at the finish, as the Badgers finished in 7:31.426 to MSU's 7:35.620, and the Spartans were almost a full length ahead of Michigan as they crossed the line.
In the top two races of the day, MSU struggled in the second eights, battling with Minnesota and Iowa throughout the final 1,000 meters for positioning Minnesota, in the first lane, pulled ahead of the Spartans and Hawkeyes, who were racing on the other side of the course in lanes five and seven; the Gophers took the fifth spot, six seats ahead of Iowa (7:00.950) - which edged the Spartans by a bowball (7:01.102), under two-tenths of a second behind.
In the varsity eight race, favorites Ohio State and Michigan came out early ahead of the pack and waged their own war, while Wisconsin, Indiana, and MSU were challenging in the second group. The Badgers came out and tried to make a move on the Hoosiers, but upstart Indiana took over past the 1000-meter mark and held off the competition. MSU fell back into a fight for fifth, and held off a pressing Minnesota at the finish by two seats, clocked in a time of 6:48.54. Ohio State charged hard and finished with an open-water victory over Michigan, (6:29.378), and in the process set a new Championship record with 164 team points. The Buckeyes claim the league's automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Championships, where they will attempt to defend their 2013 team title.
2014 Big Ten Championships
Eagle Creek Reservoir, Indianapolis, Indiana
TEAM SCORES: (1) Ohio State 164, (2) Michigan 140, (3) Wisconsin 109, (4) Indiana 103, (5) MSU 60; (6) Minnesota 55, (7) Iowa 39
Varsity Eight: (1) Ohio State 6:29.378; (2) Michigan 6:34.216; (3) Indiana 6:38.058; (4) Wisconsin 6:42.308; (5) Michigan State 6:48.540; (6) Minnesota 6:49.668; (7) Iowa 6:53.982
Second Varsity Eight: (1) Ohio State 6:38.098; (2) Michigan 6:45.340; (3) Indiana 6:49.570; (4) Wisconsin 6:51.830; (5) Minnesota 6:57.544; (6) Iowa 7:00.950; ; (7) Michigan State 7:01.102
Varsity Four: (1) Ohio State 7:27.306; (2) Wisconsin 7:31.426; (3) Michigan State 7:35.620; (4) Michigan 7:39.408; (5) Indiana 7:43.212; (6) Iowa 7:49.300; (7) Minnesota 7:52.738
Second Varsity Four: (1) Ohio State 7:34.322; (2) Michigan 7:42.226; (3) Wisconsin 7:47.478; (4) Indiana 7:48.386; (5) Minnesota 7:55.606; (6) Iowa 7:55.662; (7) Michigan State 8:03.700
Novice Eight: (1) Michigan 7:04.568; (2) Ohio State 7:09.182; (3) Wisconsin 7:11.836; (4) Indiana 7:13.962; (5) Michigan State 7:15.736; (6) Iowa 7:28.030; (7) Minnesota 7:31.274
Second Novice Eight: (1) Wisconsin 7:16.12 ; (2) Michigan 7:21.509; (3) Ohio State 7:27.871; (4) Michigan State 7:38.627; (5) Minnesota 7:40.105; (6) Iowa 7:44.997
ALL-BIG TEN TEAMS
Mera Dickensheets, Indiana
Zoe Ribar, Iowa
Amanda Elmore, Michigan
Bryna Oleshansky, Michigan
Laura Moore, Michigan State
Lynn Hodnett, Minnesota
Claire-Louise Bode, Ohio State
Holly Norton, Ohio State
Catherine Shields, Ohio State
Monica Whitehouse, Wisconsin
Karly Kikkert, Indiana
Alice Wright, Indiana
Lauren Subler, Iowa
Jessica Eiffert, Michigan
Chrissy Holm, Michigan
Sarah Kovacs, Michigan State
Katherine Windsor, Minnesota
Ashley Bauer, Ohio State
Rixt Miedema, Ohio State
Anne Rauschert, Wisconsin
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES
Caroline Comey, Indiana
Gabby Watson, Iowa
Andrea Johnson, Michigan
Sara Sherman, Michigan State
Chelsea Miller, Minnesota
Katie King, Ohio State
Monica Whitehouse, Wisconsin