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Women's Crew
Spartans Open Spring Season at Princetown
MSU Varsity Four (Bochenek, Lapointe)
MSU Varsity Four (Bochenek, Lapointe)

March 28, 2008

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State rowing officially opens its spring season with races against Brown and Princeton on Saturday, March 29 on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, N.J. The regatta will begin with varsity four races at 9:20 a.m., followed by novice eight at 9:40, second varsity eight at 10 a.m. and lastly, varsity eight at 10:20 a.m.

Complete Rowing Notes

MSU returned to the water for the first time in nearly two months on March 5, when the Spartans raced Clemson in South Carolina. The first varsity four boat (Stephanie Bochenek, Kellie Lapointe, Megan Kursik, Victoria Woodward and coxswain Allison Duffy) showed great length and consistency as it swept three heats, making a smooth and successful transition from ergs to water. The second varsity eight crew defeated the Tigers in one heat.

Michigan State continued spring break on March 6 with unofficial races against Virginia. Official times were not recorded, but head coach Matt Weise was impressed with the boats' movements as they continued to improve their work in the water.

Princeton is led by the seniors Kristin Haraldsdottir and coxswain Lizzie Agnew, who are the last remaining members of the 2006 squad that went unbeaten en route to claiming the NCAA Championships. In the Tigers' most recent races on October 29, 2007, varsity win highlighted an overall strong day for the crews at the Princeton Chase.

The defending 2007 NCAA Champion, Brown is led by 16 upperclassmen who helped lead the Bears to their fifth national title. This year, the Bears most recently placed fourth at the Foot of the Charles races on November 17, 2007. For Brown, the event was highlighted by a second-place finish by its first varsity four boat.



Michigan State rowing is celebrating its 10th year as a varsity program with an alumni dinner on Saturday, April 5 at the newly-revamped boathouse.

Rowing officially became a varsity sport for MSU in 1998, and Michigan State has established a distinguished winning tradition. The Spartans claimed their first Big Ten Championship in 2005, scoring 130 points with first-place finishes from their varsity eight and varsity four boats.

On the national scale, MSU has qualified for nine NCAA tournaments, finishing as high as sixth in 2006. The Spartans scored a program-best 40 points behind sixth-place finishes from their varsity eight and varsity four boats; additionally, the second varsity eight crew finished seventh.

For more information regarding the anniversary dinner, please contact assistant coach Christiina Tymoszewicz.

Christiina Tymoszewicz (Office) 517-432-5661,

Michigan State finished in eighth place overall last year at the 2007 South/Central Sprints, sixth in the Central Region, raced on Molton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The Spartans finished with 301 points, just five points behind Michigan, while Virginia took home titles in the varsity eight, second varsity, varsity four, and novice eight events to claim the overall team title with 440 points. The Spartans narrowly missed the opportunity to advance the NCAA Championships, the first time to miss the tournament since becoming a varsity sport in 1998. The top finishing Spartan boat on the day was the second varsity, which finished fourth in a time of 6:46.70.

After the Spartans finished fourth at the Big Ten Championship, four members of the Michigan State rowing team were honored by the Big Ten for their accomplishments this season. Roz Bialczak led the group with First-Team All-Big Ten honors, while Paula Thoms and Joanna Brown were named to the All-Big Ten Second Team. Jenna Peters was named Michigan State's Sportsmanship honoree.

Bialczak was also named to Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association's Central Regional First Team, while Peters, Brown, Kate Burdick, Tamara Yantovsky, Lauren Gamble and Sarah Schmidt were 2007 CRCA Scholar Athletes.

Additional academic honors include Burdick's prestigious placement on the First-Team 2007 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America At-Large District IV Team, an honor given by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Burdick was the first Spartan to earn the honor.

Big Ten Conference named 19 rowers to its Spring Academic All-Conference roster, including Roz Bialczak, Kathryn Bitz, Joanna Brown, Kate Burdick, Rebekah Coleman, Anne Cowan, Nancy Diehl, Allison Duffy, Lauren Gamble, Daragh Gibson, Sarah Kreft, Erica Meissner, Jenna Peters, Amanda Ruhno, Sarah Schmidt, Paula Thoms, Emily Topping, Ashley Wenneman, and Tamara Yantovsky.

Among coaching accomplishments, associate head coach Stacey Rippetoe was tabbed the Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year as announced by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA).

Rippetoe, who served as the MSU novice coach from 2000-2004, was promoted to assistant coach in 2004 and associate head coach in December 2006. Primarily guiding the Spartan varsity fours, Rippetoe has led her boats to Big Ten Championships in 2004 (second varsity four) and 2005 (varsity four). In 2007, Rippetoe directed the varsity four to a third-place finish at the Big Ten Championships and seventh at the South/Central Regional.

The Spartans return to action on Saturday, April 5, hosting Indiana, Notre Dame and Miami (Fla.) at East Lansing, Mich.'s Grande River Park.


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