April 30, 2010
MSU 2010 Big Ten Championship Notes
Ranked eighth in the latest national poll, Michigan State will host the 2010 Big Ten Championships at Lake Ovid at Sleepy Hallow State Park. The Spartans enter the race as the two-time defending Big Ten Conference champions, and look to make history by become the first school in Big Ten history to win three consecutive Big Ten titles. Standing in the way of the Spartans three-peat are the conference's six other crews: No. 10 Michigan, No. 14 Wisconsin, No. 15 Ohio State, Minnesota, Indiana and Iowa.
Last Time Out (at Ohio State, vs. No. 10 Michigan, No. 15 Ohio State and No. 8 USC)...
The Michigan State rowing team completed its regular season by competing in a series of races at Griggs Reservoir in Columbus, Ohio. The Spartans, who entered the weekend ranked seventh in the CRCA/US Rowing poll, met up with three top-15 crews in No. 8 USC, No. 10 Michigan and No. 15 Ohio State in their final races before the Big Ten Championships.
The Spartans' varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four all finished in second place by margins of less than a boat length. The novice eight and second varsity four picked up victories for the Green and White.
Scouting the Spartans...
The Varsity Eight
Regular Season Dual Record: 5-2
Big Ten Championship Seed: No. 1
Best Conference Finish: 1st (2005, 2008, 2009)
The first varsity eight has been one of the fastest boats in the nation heading into the Big Ten Championships. The crew has complied an impressive 5-2 record with both of its losses coming to top-ten opponents by margins of less than two seconds. The varsity eight was the only boat to win multiple Big Ten Boat of the Week awards this season. The varsity eight also has the most Big Ten Championship seasoning, as all nine of its members have Big Ten Championship experience. The varsity eight also features four Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association's (CRCA) All-Central Regional selections: Emily Regan (Williamsville, N.Y.), Amanda McGeachie (Sidney, British Columbia), Michelle Mussett (Darthmouth, Nova Scotia) and Laura Cowal (Thorold, Ontario). In addition to being CRCA All-Central Regional selections Regan was a second team All-America and Cowal was the 2008 Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
The Second Varsity Eight
Regular Season Dual Record: 4-3
Big Ten Championship Seed: No. 4
Best Conference Finish: 1st (2003, 2009)
The second varsity eight also returns a plethora of experience as seven of its nine members have prior Big Ten Championship experience. The second varsity eight enters the Big Ten Championships with a 4-3 record. The Spartans three losses have all came against teams ranked in the top-15 and have all been by margins of less than four seconds. Four members of the crew also bring NCAA Championship experience: Monique Carter
(Queens Village, N.Y.) raced at the NCAA Championship last season with the varsity eight, coxswain Emilie Gross (Richland, Mich.) coxed the 2V8, Megan Kursik
(Fenton, Mich.) was the bow for the 2V8, and Danica Bevan
(Victoria, British Columbia) who was the stroke for the varsity four.
The Varsity Four
Regular Season Dual Record: 3-4
Big Ten Championship Seed: No. 2
Best Conference Finish: 1st (2003)
The varsity four enters the Big Ten Championships with a 3-4 dual record. Similar to their V8 and 2V8 counterparts, the varsity four has also only lost to top-10 opponents by margins lesser than a boat length. The V4 features four members with prior Big Ten Championship experience. The only crew member who didn't compete at Big Tens last season was coxswain Alyse Egner.
The Second Varsity Four
Regular Season Dual Record: 7-0
Big Ten Championship Seed: No. 2
Best Conference Finish: 1st (2004, 2008)
The second varsity four is the Spartans' only undefeated boat on the season. The 2V4 has been dominant, winning all but one of its races by margins of open water. The all five members of the 2V4 have prior Big Ten Championship experience.
The Novice Eight
Regular Season Dual Record: 4-3
Big Ten Championship Seed: No. 2
Best Conference Finish: 2nd (2003, 2004, 2008)
The novice eight enters the Big Ten Championships as the number two seed. The N8 has a 4-3 record in duals but enters Big Tens on a hot streak, posting victories over Big Ten rivals Ohio State and Michigan in its last two races.
The Second Novice Eight
Regular Season Dual Record: 2-3
Big Ten Championship Seed: No. 3
Best Conference Finish: 2nd (2001)
The second novice eight enters the Big Ten Championships as the No. 3 seed. During the year, the 2V8 picked up a pair of dual victories over Cornell. The Spartans also raced close with Ohio State and Michigan falling to their Big Ten rivals by margins of less than six seconds.
For the 2010 season, MSU returned 13 rowers and two coxswains that helped the Green and White finish sixth at the 2009 NCAA National Championship Regatta.
Big Ten Seedings...
Monday morning; the Big Ten announced the seedings for the 2010 Championships. For Michigan State, five of its six boats are seeded among the top three boats, paced by the varsity eight, which has the number one seed. Wisconsin leads the conference with four number one seeds (2V8, V4, N8, 2N8).
Each race will feature two morning heats. The top two boats from each heat will advance to the grand finals while the rest of the boats will compete in the petite finals.
Big Ten Representing in the National Rankings...
The Big Ten has four teams ranked in the top-15 of the latest Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association's (CRCA) poll. Michigan State leads the way coming into the Big Ten Championships, ranked eighth. Michigan is the second highest at No. 10. Wisconsin and Ohio State round out the four coming in at No. 13 and No. 15 respectively. The Big Ten also has two teams receiving votes in Minnesota and Iowa.
Recapping the 2009 Big Ten Championship...
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; 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.
Three is a Magic Number...
This weekend, the Spartan rowing team looks to become the first program in Big Ten history to claim three consecutive Big Ten Championships. The Spartan crew is also looking to be the first school in Big Ten history to claim three straight Varsity Eight titles.
Big Life, Big Stage, Big Ten Network...
The 2010 Big Ten Rowing Championship will be televised on the Big Ten Network for the third consecutive season. The Championship will air, tape delayed, on Sunday, May 16th at noon eastern standard time.
Former Spartan and First Team Academic All-American Kate Burdick will serve as the color commentator for the Big Ten Network's coverage for a second consecutive season. Burdick was a Second Team All-Big Ten honoree in 2007 and CRCA Central Region first team selection as well.
Seniors Lead the Way...
Leading the way for the Spartans as they enter the Big Ten Championships are their eight seniors: Danica Bevan (Victoria, British Columbia), Elise DeWolf-Ott (Saginaw, Mich.), Emille Gross (Richland, Mich.), Emily Huddleston (Dexter, Mich.), Megan Kursik (Fenton, Mich.), Michelle Mussett (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia), Emily Regan (Williamsville, N.Y.) and Victoria Woodard (Howell, Mich.). Combined, the eight 2010 seniors have made 19 Big Ten Championship appearances and helped lead the Green and White to five Big Ten Grand Final victories.
Lake Ovid will serve as the host course for the Big Ten Championships for the second time in Championship history. Lake Ovid also served as the host site for the Championships in 2002. The four-lane, 2000m race course spans the length of Lake Ovid. The course begins at the south end of the lake near the Sleepy Hollow State Park entrance off Price Road and runs along the length of the Lake to the finish line located at the park's beach area, where spectators can gather and enjoy the day's 24 races.
At the Championships in 2002, Ohio State took home the team title with 138 points after claiming victories in the varsity eight, second varsity eight, second varsity four and novice eight races. Michigan finished in second with 124 points and Michigan State rounded out the top three with 109 points. Other boats claiming victories on the day were the Michigan State varsity four and the Wisconsin second novice eight.
Boats of the Week...
The Michigan State first varsity eight of Michelle Mussett, Shannon Dunn, Laura Cowal, Emily Regan, Michelle Neuder, Kellie Lapointe, Stephanie Bochenek, Victoria Woodard and coxswain Amanda McGeachie claimed Big Ten Boat of the Week honors for the weeks of March 30 and April 13. For the week of March 30, the V8 defeated No. 9 Michigan and Notre Dame by margins of open water to claim the honor. For the week of April 13, the V8 swept a pair of Big Ten opponents at the Big Ten Double Dual at Lake Lemon to claim the award.
The Spartan varsity eight was the only boat in the Big Ten to claim multiple Boat of the Week honors this season.
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, British 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. In addition to the successes on the water the Spartans also had success in the classroom as six rowers were named CRCA Scholar Athletes and 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 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 best finish (2006,2008).
Matt Weise enters is in 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 finish 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 title. 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 assistant coach Christiina Tymoszewicz-Donley, now in her sixth season, is leaving her mark on Spartan recruiting. As a St. Catherines, Ontario Native, Tymoszewicz-Donley has scoured her home land, bringing in recruits who have directly impacted the success of the Spartans. In the Spartans' varsity eight, three of the nine members - Laura Cowal (Thorold, Ontario), Michelle Mussett (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia) and coxswain Amanda McGeachie (Sidney, British Columbia) - hail from Canada. In all, eight MSU rowers call Canadian cities home.
Big Ten Announces Changes for 2011...
The Big Ten Conference and Indianapolis Rowing Center announced that Eagle Creek Park will serve as the host site for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Big Ten Rowing Championships. The 2011 event will mark the Big Ten's first-ever neutral-site rowing championships.
In addition to the location, other changes have been made for future championships. The 2011-13 events will be held on the Sunday that falls two weekends prior to the NCAA Championships. The 2011 Big Ten Championships will be held May 15. The format of the event will be altered to a seven-lane finals-only regatta.
Scouting the Big Ten Competition
Ohio State Buckeyes...
Ohio State comes into the weekend ranked 15th in the latest CRAC poll. The Buckeyes are coming off a weekend in which they competed with MSU, Michigan and USC in a series of races. The Buckeyes were paced by their second varsity eight which finished second. Ohio State is coached by Andy Teitelbaum, who is in his 15th season with the program.
Michigan comes into the weekend ranked 10th in the latest CRAC poll. The Wolverines are coming off a weekend in which they competed with MSU, Ohio State and USC. UM was paced by their second varsity eight which won its race by a margin of two seconds. For its accomplishment, the UM 2V8 was named Big Ten Boat of the Week. Michigan is coached by Mark Rothstein, who is in his 13th year with the program.
Wisconsin comes into the weekend ranked 14th in the latest CRAC poll. The Badgers are coming off a weekend where they competed at the Lake Natoma Invitational in Gold River, California. Wisconsin was paced by their varsity four and second varsity eight which picked up victories on the day. The Badgers are coached by Beebee Bryans, who is in her sixth year with the program.
Minnesota Golden Gophers...
Minnesota comes into the weekend receiving votes in the latest CRAC poll. The Gophers are coming off a weekend where they dominated the crew from Kansas by claiming victories in all six races. The Gophers are coached by Wendy Davis, who is in her 10th season with the program.
Iowa comes into the weekend receiving votes in the latest CRAC poll. The Hawkeyes are coming off a weekend which saw them host Minnesota and Iowa for a Big Ten Double Dual. The Hawkeyes dropped the Gophers, 43-35 but fell to the Badgers, 52-26. Iowa is coached by Mandi Kowal, who is in her 16th year with the program.
Indiana is coming off a weekend in which they competed in the SIRA Championships in Tennessee. The Hoosiers were led by their second varsity eight which captured the 2V8 title. Indiana is coached by Steve Peterson, who is in his seventh season with the program.