May 22, 2013
East Lansing, Mich. - - Michigan State rower Katie Cromie (County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland) has been named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, as voted on by Conference coaches.
Cromie shares the award with Catherine Shields of Big Ten champion Ohio State. Buckeye mentor Andy Teitelbaum was named the Coach of the Year, and OSU senior Claire Louise-Bode was the Athlete of the Year.
"This is a well-deserved honor for Katie - In a short time, she's done a lot for our program," said head coach Matt Weise. "In my opinion, she really helped develop our varsity eight - she kept them focused, and helped them key in on improving their speed and ability to work when they are tired. She was a catalyst for the improvement we saw in that boat. I am confident that she will continue to be a leader in our program and push our team forward."
Cromie, who was also named to the All-Big Ten First Team, is MSU's fifth Big Ten Freshman of the Year honoree - she joins Stacey Hicks (2001), Christen Brown (2003), Anne Cowan (2005), and Laura Cowal (2008).
The freshman was recently voted the team's Most Valuable Rower by her teammates, the first time in program history that the award was given to a first-year rower.
Cromie rowed every race this year in the varsity eight. She helped that boat to a fourth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships last weekend, as well as a fourth-place team finish. After starting the season in the four seat, she moved into the stroke seat for the final three races of the year, and helped a young varsity eight rapidly improve over the final weeks of the season. Cromie was one of six freshman or novice rowers in MSU's varsity eight boat at the Big Ten Championships.