March 26, 2010
Coming into the season ranked seventh in the preseason polls, Michigan State officially opens its 2010 season, this weekend MSU welcomes No. 9 Michigan and Notre Dame to Lake Ovid. The Spartans are coming off a sixth-place finish at the 2009 NCAA Regatta and are the two-time defending Big Ten Champions.
Last Time Out (Virginia Scrimmage)...
The Michigan State rowing team got its spring schedule underway in Charlottesville, Va., taking part in a scrimmage with the University of Virginia. The scrimmage consisted of five timed races in six events featuring the varsity eight, second varsity eight, varsity four, second varsity four, novice eight and novice four.
Leading the way for the Spartans was their varsity eight boat which captured three of their five races. The remaining Spartan boats raced strong but failed to pick up any victories over the Cavaliers boats, which finished second in last year's NCAA regatta.
For the 2010 season, MSU returns 13 rowers and two coxswains that helped the Green and White finish sixth at the 2009 NCAA National Regatta.
Back-to-back Big Ten Champs...
MSU earned its second-straight Big Ten title - and third in five seasons - after accumulating 137 points on Griggs Reservoir in Columbus, Ohio, on May 2, 2009. Both MSU's varsity eight and second varsity eight earned top honors at the event, accounting for 105 of the team's 137 total points, helping them edge second-place Michigan, which finished with 126 points.
The Spartans became only the second team in Big Ten Championship history to win back-to-back team titles and the win by the varsity eight also marked the second-straight Big Ten title for that crew as well. The second varsity four and second novice eight also earned medals on the day, each taking home the bronze in their events.
The Spartans return four athletes who earned spots on the 2009 Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association's (CRCA) All-Central Regional teams. Emily Regan (Williamsville, N.Y.) garnered first team honors while Amanda McGeachie (Sidney, Birtish Columbia), Michelle Mussett (Darthmouth, Nova Scotia) and Laura Cowal (Thorold, Ontario) took home second team honors.
In addition to being named a CRAC All-Central Region first team honoree, Regan was named a CRAC second team All-American.
Regan, who rowed in the Spartans' first varsity eight crew which claimed the Big Ten title, is the program's sixth Second Team All-American and first since Joanna Brown in 2008.
Banner Year on the Water and in the Classroom...
In addition to their successes on the water in 2009, the Spartan rowers had six rowers selected as 2009 CRCA Scholar Athletes. Making the list were Sarah Schmidt, Shannon Dunn, Lauren Gamble, Megan Kursik, Amanda Ruhno and Victoria Woodard.
MSU was also honored for its success in the classroom by the Big Ten Conference. In all, 22 student-athletes were named to the 2009 Academic All-Big Ten Spring Honor Roll.
A Little More Than a Decade of Excellence...
MSU has qualified for the NCAA National Championship Regatta in 12 of the last 13 seasons. Since elevated to a varsity sport in 1998, the only year in which the Spartans have qualified for the NCAA Championships every season but 2007. MSU has received eight team bids and received at-large berths for their varsity eight boat in 1998 and 2001. MSU finished sixth at last year's championships, which tied the program's top finish.
Matt Weise enters his sixth season as the head coach for the women's rowing program, after spending seven years as an assistant. Weise continually develops the nationally-recognized program, leading the team to its highest placing at the NCAA Championship and back-to-back Big Ten titles (2008, 2009).
Over his five seasons as the head coach of the Green and White, Weise has led the Spartans to four NCAA appearances, three Big Ten championships and one Central Region Championship. Weise, a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, has also coached eight All-Americans, three Big Ten Athletes of the Year, two Big Ten Freshmen of the Year and 12 academic All-Americans.
Michigan State associate head coach Christiina Tymoszewicz-Donley, now in her sixth season, is undeniably leaving her mark on the program. As a Canadian, Tymoszewicz-Donley has scoured her home land, bringing in recruits who have directly impacted the Spartans. In fact, in the Spartans' varsity eight, three of the nine members - Laura Cowal (Thorold, Ontario), Michelle Mussett (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia) and Amanda McGeachie (Sidney, British Columbia) - hail from Canada. In all, eight MSU rowers call Canadian cities home.
Home Sweet Home...
On Saturday, May 1, Michigan State will serve as the host school for the Big Ten Championships.
The Spartans, who also hosted in 2002, will look to become the first school to win a Big Ten Championship on their home course since Michigan in 2001.
Scouting the Wolverines...
The Michigan Wolverines come into the regular season ranked ninth in the preseason polls after finishing ninth at the 2009 NCAA Regatta. The Wolverines captured the 2009 Central Region tile at the South/Central Region Sprints and finished second at the Big Ten Championships. Michigan is coached by Mark Rothstein, who is in his 13th year with the program.
Scouting the Irish...
Notre Dame, which came into the season receiving 19 votes in the national poll, got their 2010 season off to a good start in their first races of the year in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The Irish squad secured race victories in nine of the 10 races against Duke and Buffalo. Notre Dame is coached by Martin Stone, who is in his 12th year with the program.
Race Schedule and Lane Draws
Race Time Lane 1 Lane 2 Lane 3
2N8 10:00 UM MSU ND
N8 10:20 ND UM MSU
2V4 10:40 MSU ND
V4 11:00 UM MSU ND
2V8 11:20 ND UM MSU
V8 11:40 MSU ND UM