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No. 19 Spartans Ready for Big Ten Championships

May 12, 2017

2017 Big Ten Championship Regatta
Dates Sunday, May 14, 2017
Location    Indianapolis, Ind. Indianapolis Rowing Center
Tournament Website    Big Ten Championship Central
Live Updates         @BigTenChamps
Television    Big Ten Network
     Tape Delay; May 20, 11 am
Live Video Streams    BTN2Go
Download Game Notes    Michigan State
Social Media      @MSURowing   |  MSUVarsityRowing

The Catch
Michigan State travels to Indianapolis, Ind. for the 2017 Big Ten Rowing Championships.

The Format
Due to extensive course damage, the 2017 Big Ten Rowing Championship format will be an eight-lane, finals-only championship. The planned format had been two sets of heats per boat class on Saturday, followed by Grand and Petite Finals on Sunday.
     Racing begins on Sunday morning at 9 am, with racing going off on 20-minute centers. The varsity eight race is at 11 am, with the Awards Ceremony scheduled for 12 noon.

The Venue
Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis serves as the neutral-site host course for the Big Ten Championships for the seventh time in Championship history, after campus sites were used from 2000-10.
     The 2,000-meter course on Eagle Creek Reservoir remains one of the country's premiere venues. The Eagle Creek course has held more than a dozen USRowing National Championships (including the 2004, 2005 and 2006 events), numerous Olympic, Pam Am and National Team trial regattas as well as NCAA National Championships and regional collegiate, junior and masters events. Eagle Creek was the site of the 1994 World Rowing championships and also hosts high-school and collegiate regattas in the spring and the Head of the Eagle each October.

Recent Big Ten History
The Spartans last won a Big Ten Team Championship in 2009, its second consecutive. The Spartans finished second in 2010 and fourth in each year from 2011-13. MSU finished fifth in 2014, and seventh the last two seasons,
     The 2012 championship snapped a streak of four consecutive gold medals in the varsity eight race for MSU, an unprecedented run - only Michigan had previously won back-to-back championships in that race in Big Ten Conference history, which dates back to the sport's inception as a Big Ten sport in 2000.

Strength of Schedule
Michigan State has lined up with some of the best crews in the country this season. Either in dual races or in the Oak Ridge Invitational, MSU has seen nine of the CRCA Top 20, and two of the additional six crews which are receiving votes in the poll. Six Big Ten crews are among the CRCA Top 20 headed into Championship weekend.

Big Life, Big Stage, Big Ten Network
BTN2Go will stream Sunday's championship races live beginning at 9 a.m. ET. BTN will air the Big Ten Rowing Championships on Saturday, May 20, at 11 a.m. ET.

Big Ten Championship History
Eight of the Big Ten's 14 universities sponsor women's rowing at the varsity level: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Rutgers, and Wisconsin.
     From 2011-14, the Big Ten Championships were a seven-race, finals-only event contested within a single day. With the addition of an eighth program (Rutgers) for the 2015 season, the Championship returned to a format which runs semifinal heats on Saturday for boat classes with eight entries (both varsity eights, novice eights, and varsity fours). On Sunday morning, petite and grand finals will be contested. Due to the damage to the racecourse with recent weather events, 2017 will revert to an eight-lane, finals-only regatta. New for 2013 was the addition of a third varsity four race, with point values the same as the second novice eight race.

Big Ten Seedings
The Big Ten announced the seedings for the 2016 Championships earlier this week. The Spartan novice eight is the highest-seeded entry for MSU, with the No. 2 seed.
     MSU's varsity eight is the No. 5 seed, as is the varsity four. MSU earned a six seed in the third varsity four, and is the No. 7 in the second varsity eight.
     MSU will not have an entry in the second novice eight race.

Big Ten Kudos
Michigan State's varsity eight was the Big Ten Boat of the Week on April 25 after the final week of dual racing. The then- No. 17 Spartans traveled to Cambridge, Mass., and came away with wins over five New England crews in two impressive first-place finishes. On April 22, the Spartans battled cold, choppy conditions as well as the three other boats in the race. The Spartans held off Northeastern at the finish, edging ahead by a bowball at the final horn. MSU crossed in a time of 6:25.618, just over three-tenths of a second ahead of the Huskies (6:25.948). The Spartans were down by nearly a length at the 1,000 meter mark, but gained their composure and turned on the speed over the second half of the race. MSU out-sprinted Northeastern in the final 400 meters to earn the victory. UMass was more than 15 seconds behind to take third (6:41.016), with Boston University in fourth (6:48.938). The next day, MSU took on No. 17 Harvard/Radcliffe and Boston College, and held a one-seat lead at the 500 meter mark, and started to open up and pushed their lead over Radcliffe out to three seats at the halfway point. The Spartans pushed their lead to six seats and out to a full length as the teams approached the final sprint, and crossed the line in a time of 6:34.2, about a seat of open water over their hosts, who finished in 6:39.1. Boston College was 19 seconds behind the Spartans.

Head of the Charles
Michigan State's varsity eight has participated in the Head of the Charles in each of the last two years. The Spartans were 10th in the 2015 Regatta, and finished 15th this past October.
     Junior Becca Uebele and seniors Brianna Higgins, Brook Edgar, and Nicole Marek are MSU's two-time HOCR participants -- this fall they were joined by sophomore coxswain Hannah Worth; sophomore Meaghan Faucher, juniors Lindsey Klei and Kasidy Higgins, and senior Monica Hessler.

Excellence Continued
Michigan State has a pair of alums that have continued rowing excellence past their undergraduate days. Emily Regan '10 was the bow seat in the US Women's Eight that won gold in Rio in August. Regan owns nine international medals in her seven years since joining the US Rowing program in Princeton: five gold and one silver medal from World Championships, one gold from the World Cup, and also earned a gold medal in the U23 eight in 2010. In 2013, Regan was a part of the US women's eight that set a world-record time at World Rowing Cup III in Rotsee/Lucerne, Switzerland. That time of 5:54.160 is a record which still stands. Olivia Jamrog '15 is pursuing a masters degree at Cambridge University in London, and rowed for Cambridge in the storied Boat Race, beating Oxford by 11 lengths. She also rowed for Team USA at the 2015 U-23 World Championship.

The Head Coach
With 20 years as a part of the Michigan State rowing program, Matt Weise has had a hand in shaping the Spartans for their entire varsity existence. The 2017 season is his 13th as the head coach after 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). Weise has led the Spartans to seven NCAA appearances, three Big Ten championships and one Central Region title. Weise, a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, has also coached 11 All-Americans, five Big Ten Athletes of the Year, three Big Ten Freshmen of the Year and 12 Academic All-Americans.

Boat Notes

  • MSU's varsity eight holds a 9-4 record in dual races in 2017, which includes a 3-2 mark in Big Ten action. The Spartans defeated Rutgers, Indiana, and Minnesota and fell to Wisconsin and Iowa. MSU's margin in its two losses was under 90 seconds in each race.

  • MSU's second varsity eight had an overhaul in the late part of the season. Much of the current lineup was moved up from the novice eight to become the Spartan second varsity eight, with only bow Madelyn Bagley, six seat Cailyn Wolski and seven seat Lillian Thompson competed in a varsity race prior to the final dual racing weekend in Boston.. (The remaining five are all freshmen.) This new-look lineup took second to Northeastern and Harvard/Radcliffe in its first weekend of action, defeating Boston College, Boston University, and UMass.

  • The varsity four is 8-4 on the season, but with the elevation of much of the novice eight into the 2V, has a new lineup as of the final weekend of dual racing, where the Spartans posted wins in each of their two Boston races. A senior, two juniors, and a sophomore make up a fairly seasoned entry, including Kasidy Higgins, who rowed in this year's Head of the Charles with the varsity eight.

  • MSU's current novice eight raced all but the final weekend of the dual season as the second novice eight, and racked up victories over Michigan, Radcliffe, and Iowa in dual racing season. In Cambridge in the final weekend of dual racing, the Spartans finished second behind Northeastern (and ahead of UMass) and Radcliffe (ahead of two entries from Boston College). MSU will not race a second novice eight at Big Tens.

  • The second and third varsity fours are composed of several athletes who previously rowed in the second varsity eight or novice eight. Due to injuries limiting the number of athletes available, MSU raced primarily four eights (two varsity, two novice) and a first varsity four most of the season. The weekend in Boston was the first for a third four for MSU this season, and MSU fielded a second four only in the opening weekend at Oak Ridge and in Cambridge. The second four went undefeated against the New England crews April 22-23, while the third four went 4-1, falling only to Radcliffe.

    Academic Honors
    Twenty-Six individuals have qualified for Academic All-Big Ten honors. Student- Athletes must have a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average in their second academic year of residence at their institution. Individuals who can expect this honor include Madelyn Bagley, Michelle DeVriendt, Meaghan Faucher, Madison Glatz, Jeanelle Grosvenor, Abigail Hampton, Rebecca Harmon, Monica Hessler, Brianna Higgins, Kasidy Higgins. Samantha Jabara, Lindsey Klei, Emily Mall, Nicole Marek, Kaitlyn Meiste, Micah Peel, Maya Regelado, Samantha Rogers, Amy Sklenar, Clare Sutka, Emily Tatge, Lillian Thompson, Becca Uebele, Monica Wimbush, and Hannah Worth .

    MSU has had four Big Ten Athletes of the Year, and four straight winners from 2008-11 ... Michigan State's varsity eight won four consecutive Big Ten gold medals (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) ... Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State are the only three schools to produce a varsity eight championship since the Big Ten began in 2000 ... MSU's roster features athletes from nine states, two Canadian provinces, plus Ireland, the UK, and New Zealand.

    Big Ten Championship Racing Schedule
    Eagle Creek Reservoir, Indianapolis, Ind.

    9 am - Second Novice Eight
    9:20 am - Novice Eight
    9:40 am - Third Varsity Four
    10 am - Second Varsity Four
    10:20 am - Varsity Four
    10:40 am - Second Varsity Eight
    11 am - Varsity Eight

    Michigan State Lineups:

    Varsity Eight Lineup: cox-: Hannah Worth; Stroke - Brianna Higgins; 7- Meaghan Faucher; 6- Monica Hessler; 5- Mikayla Russell; 4- Nicole Marek; 3- Brook Edgar; 2- Lindsey Klei; Bow- Becca Uebele

    Second Varsity Eight Lineup: cox- Jennifer Gmeiner; Stroke - Halle Nielsen; 7- Lillian Thompson; 6- Cailyn Wolski; 5- Annie Cantu; 4- Sophia Klein; 3- Claire Hesseltine; 2- Katherine Willis; Bow- Madelyn Bagley

    Varsity Four Lineup: cox- Madison Schaekel Stroke - Adrien Kawalek; 3- Claire Sutka; 2-- Maya Regalado; Bow - Kasidy Higgins

    Second Varsity Four Lineup: cox- Megan Lindsey; Stroke - Kaitlyn Meiste; 3- Emily Mall; 2- Hannah Hentgen; Bow- Samantha Jabara

    Third Varsity Four Lineup: cox- Michelle DeVriendt; Stroke - Samantha Rogers; 3- Emily Tatge; 2- Maddy Hanford; Bow- Danielle Connery

    Novice Eight Lineup:
    cox - C- Alyssa Malak; Stroke- Jordan Becker; 7- Johanna Uckele; 6- Becca Harmon; 5- Luisa Romero; 4- Monica Wimbush; 3- Madison Glatz; 2- Madison Sturm; Bow- Mia Inman



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