GOPHERS SET TO COMPETE AT REGIONALS
The University of Minnesota rowing team heads to Oak Ridge, Tenn., to compete at the 2009 Aramark South/Central Region Sprints, May 16-17. The Golden Gophers will compete in three events during the course of the regionals in the Varsity Eight, Second Varsity Eight and Varsity Four races.
Each of the Gopher boats will compete in heats and semifinals in the first day of competition. Sunday’s finals are based off of their performance in the heats and semifinals. Top finishers advance to the A/B semifinals, while the lower finishers compete in the C/D semifinals. When in semifinal competition, the top three finishers in the A/B final automatically advance to the Grand Final, while the 4-6 finishers compete in the Petite Final the following day.
Minnesota will compete in preliminary races on Saturday morning, starting with the varsity four, which will race at 10:40. Also in Minnesota's varsity four heat will be Clemson, Wisconsin and Ohio State. The second varsity eight will race at 11 a.m., along with Tennessee, Central Florida and Louisville. The first varsity eight will race along side Notre Dame, Tennessee and Kansas State at 11:30 a.m.
The top three finishers from each heat of the preliminaries will advance to the A/B semifinals. The semifinal races will take place on Saturday afternoon between 3-4:30 p.m.
The 2009 sprints will feature 22 teams, including all seven from the Big Ten Conference. Of the 22 teams, nine are ranked in the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association First Varsity Eight poll. Last year, five teams from the South and Central regions were selected to participate at the NCAA Championships (Michigan State, Ohio State, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin), while Clemson and Michigan were selected as an at-large 1V8 bid. Listed below includes all the partcipating teams:
Central Florida Michigan State*
Duke Notre Dame^
Eastern Michigan Ohio State*
Iowa* Southern Methodist
Kansas State Texas
* indicates ranked teams
^ not ranked but receiving votes
Minnesota has 11 seniors graduating from this year’s team, including six from the First Varsity Eight. All 11 will be competing at the sprints in Stephanie Bakkum, Emily Baxter, Tina Cho, Erin Desmond, Ali Fisher, captain Emily Johnson, Katie Johnson, Lucy Mulvey, Erica Niemiec, Lisa Pugh and Ashley Vilmo.
As Minnesota gears up for the regionals, the Gophers will keep their lineups the same as they did at the Big Ten Championships. Minnesota’s 1V8 of Lisa Pugh at stroke, Katherine Johnson, Ashlee Vilmo, Stephanie Bakkum, Lucy Mulvey, Jenna Schuder, Sarah Graham and Cassie Drozynski at bow have been together since the start of the second semester, while coxswain Erica Niemiec joined the group at the double duals. In the Gophers’ Second Varsity Eight is coxswain Ilana Ostrin, Michele Peterson, Emily Baxter, Allison Fisher, Erin Desmond, Krystal Arbery, Tina Cho, Sarah Krueger and Molly Kalmoe.In the First Varsity Four: Monika Folker (coxswain), Emily Johnson, Teresa Logemann, Tracy Merth and Kate Ladell at bow.
GOPHERS' REGULAR-SEASON SCHEDULE
Minnesota has seen limited action this spring, but since the middle of April have seen consistent competition. The Gophers started the spring season with a win over Tennessee in Varsity Eight, Second Varsity Eight and Varsity Four races. After their dual against Iowa was cancelled, the Gophers competed at the Double Duals against Brown, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Indiana and won four races. The Gophers then traveled to California to compete against Cal, Stanford, Texas, UCLA and Tennessee. Minnesota’s only home competition was April 25th when it hosted Kansas at Lake Phalen. Minnesota’s most recent competition came on May 2 when the full team competed at the Big Ten Championships.
2008 SPRINTS RECAP
The Golden Gophers finished ninth overall and sixth in the central region standings with 264 points last year. Virginia held the most points in overall competition with 407 points, while Michigan State led the central region with 371. The Big Ten Conference was well represented in the standings as Ohio State (351), Wisconsin (348) and Michigan (331) took the third through fifth-place spots. Minnesota's Varsity Four boat of coxswain Erica Niemiec, Jessica Veit, Sarah Krueger, Ali Fisher and Emily Johnson placed fourth in their Grand Final. The Gopher boat clocked a time of 7:31.19, while the Spartans won in 7:26.70, followed by Virginia (7:28.29) and Ohio State (7:29.86). The Second Varsity Eight of coxswain Linnea Trandem, Lauren VanProosdy, Emily Baxter, Tina Cho, Katie Simpson, Jenna Schuder, Sarah Graham, Kathryn Switalski and Christine O'Donnell at bow won the 2V8 Petite Final. Minnesota edged out Michigan for the win with a time of 6:54.20 to the Wolverines' time of 6:54.80. Clemson was third in 6:56.80, while Louisville followed in fourth (6:58.20). The Gophers' First Varsity Eight finished third in the Petite Final with a time of 6:50.60. Coxswain Megan Flannery, Laura Jatautaite at stroke, Mary Ann Weinzierl, Jenny Barnes, Ashlee Vilmo, Stephanie Bakkum, Lucy Mulvey, Katie Johnson and Lisa Pugh at bow finished behind Ohio State (6:46.90) and Notre Dame (6:48.08) for third overall.
BIG TEN BOAT OF THE WEEK HONORS
Minnesota earned two Big Ten Boat of the Week honors during the course of the championship season. The Gophers’ most recent accomplishment came in the win over Kansas on April 25. Minnesota’s 1V8 of Lisa Pugh at stroke, Katherine Johnson, Ashlee Vilmo, Stephanie Bakkum, Lucy Mulvey, Jenna Schuder, Sarah Graham, Cassie Drozynski at bow and Erica Niemiec as the coxswain, earned a dominate win over Kansas University in St. Paul, Minn. On Minnesota’s home course of Lake Phalen, the Golden Gophers held a 19-second win over the Jayhawks. The Gophers held a time of 6:20.2 to Kansas’ finishing time of 6:36.9.
Earlier in the year, the Gophers earned their first weekly honor when they defeated Tennessee in March. The Gopher Varsity Eight of Pugh at stroke, Johnson, Vilmo, Bakkum, Mulvey, Schuder, Graham, Drozynski and coxswain Ilana Ostrin won the event in a time of 6:35.00 to Tennessee’s time of 6:38.65. It was the first time the Gophers had competed since November 2 when they raced in the Southland Regatta in Illinois.
GOPHERS' LAST ACTION
Minnesota finished sixth at the 2009 Big Ten Championships, held in Columbus, Ohio. The Golden Gophers scored 59 points, while Michigan State won its second-straight Big Ten Championship with 137 points. Minnesota was just one point out of fifth place as Iowa finished ahead of the Gophers with 60 points. Lisa Pugh earned first-team All-Big Ten honors, while Ashlee Vilmo was named a second-team All-Big Ten selection. Tina Cho was the Gophers’ representative in the Sportsmanship Award.
The Gophers placed second in the First Varsity Eight Petite Final. Minnesota, seeded sixth, had to race against No. 3 Michigan State and No. 4 Michigan State. The Wolverines won the heat in a time of 6:09.913, while the Spartans placed second in 6:13.577. Minnesota followed in third (6:21.533). Competing in the Petite Final, Minnesota finished less than a second behind final winner Iowa. The Hawkeyes won the race in 6:18.872, while the Gophers added a time of 6:19.726. In the Gopher 1V8 was Pugh at stroke, Katherine Johnson, Vilmo, Stephanie Bakkum, Lucy Mulvey, Jenna Schuder, Sarah Graham and Cassie Drozynski at bow with coxswain Erica Niemiec.
The Gophers finished second in the Second Varsity Eight Petite Final. Minnesota chipped in a heat time of 6:28.665, which placed them in the Petite Final. In the Gophers’ 2V8 was coxswain Ilana Ostrin, Michele Peterson, Emily Baxter, Allison Fisher, Erin Desmond, Rebekah Brzozowski, Tina Cho, Sarah Krueger and Molly Kalmoe and finished second in the finals (6:38.160).
The Gophers made the Grand Final in the Varsity Four competition. Minnesota’s 1V4 of Monika Folker (coxswain), Emily Johnson Teresa Logemann, Tracy Merth and Kate Ladell at bow finished second in their respective heat in 6:59.696. With the boat advancing to the Grand Final, Minnesota crossed the finish line in third (7:04.328), while OSU won it in 7:00.140.