The University of Minnesota competed at the Big Ten Championships, today in Indianapolis, hosted by the Indianapolis Rowing Center and Eagle Creek Park. The Golden Gophers finished fifth with 68 points, while Ohio State won its third-ever Big Ten Championship with 142 points. Following the Buckeyes was Michigan (124 points), Wisconsin (121) and Michigan State (111). Trailing Minnesota was Indiana (53 points) and Iowa (25).
Minnesota landed all-conference honorees on both the first and second team. Cassie Drozynski was named a First Team All-Big Ten, while Tracy Merth was Second Team All-Big Ten. Captain Teresa Logemann received Minnesota’s Sportsmanship Award.
Unlike previous years, the 2011 season marked the first Big Ten Championship where all seven boats raced at the same time. Prior to this season, morning heats resulted into boats being placed into the Grand and Petite Finals. This year, all seven boats lined up in a sprint to the finish. Minnesota’s highest finishes of the day came in the Second Varsity Eight and the First Novice Eight at fourth overall. The Gophers’ Second Varsity Eight of Sara Baldvins as the coxswain, Ellen Hughes at stroke, Becky Kinchen, Kayla Thom, Ali Haws, Katrina Pichelli, Sarah Krueger, Kate Ladell and Teresa Logemann at bow held a time of 6:33.49. Racing in lane six, the Gophers couldn’t catch Michigan’s time of 6:31.39, but held off Michigan State’s boat at 6:34.71. OSU won the event in 6:25.33.
“The 2V8 did a really nice job today,” head coach Wendy Davis said. “We were only two seconds back from Michigan and thought we had a good race. Race after race, the 2V8 goes above expectations. We’ve done some lineup changes and our coxswain Sara Baldvins has handled it in stride. She’s done a really good job of working with the athletes that are in her boat during each race. There’s also an interesting mix of athletes in that boat. From bow-three were seniors and the stern-five are freshman and sophomore.”
Minnesota’s First Novice Eight of coxswain Olivia Vlahos, Amber Meyer at stroke, Chelsea Miller, Katherine Windsor, Molly Gruber, Melissa Drezdzon, Kate Moran, Erica Revering and Nicolette Marquardt at bow was in lane 2. Minnesota crossed the line in 6:45.93, beating out Michigan State (6:50.47), Iowa (6:51.52) and Indiana (6:57.66). A tight race until the end had Michigan winning in 6:36.76, followed by Ohio State (6:37.60) and Wisconsin (6:38.03).
The Gophers’ First Varsity Eight of coxswain Linnea Trandem, Christine Beauparlant at stroke, Tracy Merth, Leah Rogotzke, Cassie Drozynski, Erika Berg, Kathryn Switalski, Molly Kalmoe and Rachel Sartor at bow finished sixth overall. The Gophers tried to close in on Indiana’s time of 6:31.45, but Minnesota crossed the line in 6:32.03 for sixth. Michigan State, who holds the highest rank for Big Ten Varsity Eight boats, won the event in 6:17.12.
“The 1V8 didn’t race as well as we could of today. We wanted it so bad, but didn’t quite have the confidence in our racing and what we wanted to accomplish. Although it wasn’t our best racing day, I saw some good things come out of that race and we only lose a couple individuals out of the boat next year because of graduation. It’s a sign of good things to come.”
Minnesota’s First Varsity Four of coxswain Nicolle Fisher, Sarah Sobek at stroke, Maddy Bourgeois, Katie Anderson and Alexandria Voss at bow placed fifth in its event. Racing in lane 1, the Gophers clocked a time of 7:22.01, defeating Indiana (7:25.96) and Iowa (7:33.61). Wisconsin won the event in 7:12.88.
Like the 1V4, the Second Varsity Four also finished in fifth overall. Minnesota’s boat of coxswain Emilie Sabourin, Caitlin Boon, Janessa White, Debbie Brzozowski and Allison Putlak at bow finished in 7:37.81, also defeating Indiana (7:42.05) and Iowa (7:53.95). OSU won the race in 7:15.29.
Minnesota’s Second Novice Eight was the first race of the day as the Gophers placed fifth overall. Racing in lane 5, the Minnesota boat of coxswain Mahogany Ellis, Mckenzie Fitzgerald at stroke, Jen Kohl, Kelly Brickl in the 6 seat, MacKenzie Strylund, Kathryn DeSmidt, Cassie Meyer, Katherine Rosploch and Becca Curtis at bow added a time of 7:07.99.
"It was a tough day for us out there," novice coach Andy Foltz said. "Props to Michigan, Ohio State and Wisco in the 1N race. We felt pretty confident heading into the weekend. We knew it would be close in both novice events and that it would take a perfect execution to get the W's. We happened to just come up a little short. Tough day all around. Certainly not what we came here to do but let's hope it inspires a little more fight through the summer."
1st - Ohio State, 142 points
2nd – Michigan, 124 points
3rd – Wisconsin, 121 points
4th – Michigan State, 111 points
5th – Minnesota, 68 points
6th – Indiana, 53 points
7th – Iowa, 25 points
2011 Big Ten Rowing Championship Awards
Sportsmanship Award Honorees
Indiana – Cara Donley
Iowa – Allison Lofthouse
Michigan – Michaela Brown
Michigan State – Monique Carter
Minnesota – Teresa Logemann
Ohio State – Julie Dick
Wisconsin – Kate Mansfield
2nd-Team All-Big Ten Conference
Shifumi Terasaka, Indiana
Molly Pollpeter, Iowa
Julia Darnton, Michigan
Natalie Eisermann, Michigan
Alex Maibusch, Michigan State
Amanda McGeachie, Michigan State
Tracy Merth, Minnesota
Carolin Helmholz, Ohio State
Claire-Louise Bode, Ohio State
Lisa Godhardt, Wisconsin
1st-Team All-Big Ten Conference
Asja Zero, Indiana
Jessica Novack, Iowa
Felice Mueller, Michigan
Stephanie Bodnenek, Michigan State
Laura Cowal, Michigan State
Kellie LaPointe, Michigan State
Cassie Drozynski, Minnesota
Ulrike Denker, Ohio State
Claudia Schiwy, Ohio State
Jackie Koykkar, Wisconsin