The Big Ten Conference Office has announced that the University of Minnesota's First Varsity Eight has been named the Big Ten Boat of the Week for their performance against Boston University and Kansas this past weekend. It is the Golden Gophers second honor this year and first for the 1V8.
The squad of Megan Flannery, Cheryl Wick, Berit Tomten, Laura Jatautaite, Vilma Stragyte, Jillian Casey, Jennifer Barnes, Erika Bartkute and Katie Biese defeated both BU and KU by more than a boat’s length as the Gophers finished the 1940-meter course in 6:11.77. The Maroon and Gold won the race by five seconds over BU and 13 seconds over Kansas. The last time the Gophers' 1V8 was honored by the conference office was April 25, 2005. Minnesota's First Varsity Four earned Boat of the Week honors after defeating Louisville on March 12, 2006.
Minnesota and the rest of the conference teams gear up for the Big Ten Championships, this Saturday at Lake Phalen in St. Paul, Minn. Of the seven teams in the Big Ten, five are ranked. Competing in the event is No. 5 Ohio State, No. 6 Michigan State, No. 8 Michigan, No. 17 Minnesota and No. 18 Wisconsin. Also competing will be Indiana and Iowa. Minnesota will hold the No. 4 seed in the First Varsity Eight. The Gophers' highest seed is No. 2 in both the First Varsity Four and Second Novice Eight. Michigan State, the reigning Big Ten Champion is ranked third in the First Varsity Eight. Heats begin at 8 a.m. on Lake Phalen, while finals are slated for a noon start.