May 1, 2008
Three of the seven conference programs earned top seeds for this weekend's 2008 Big Ten Women's Rowing Championships. This season marks the ninth year of the event and will be hosted by the University of Michigan. The Championships will take place at the Michigan Boathouse on Belleville Lake near Ann Arbor on Saturday, May 3 beginning at 8 a.m. ET.
Michigan State is the top seed in the I Varsity Eight division as well as the I Varsity Four and I Novice Eight divisions. The Spartans are currently ranked No. 8 in the country and the MSU crew is looking for its first Big Ten title since 2005. The Michigan State I Varsity Four and I Varsity Eight both earned Big Ten Boat of the Week honors this year on April 1 and April 22, respectively.
Ohio State secured the No. 1 seed in the II Varsity Eight division. The Buckeyes won the Big Ten Championships two years ago in 2006 and currently stand at No. 9 in the national rankings. The OSU II Varsity Eight crew was tabbed as Big Ten Boat of the Week on April 8 earlier in the season.
Wisconsin garners the top seed in the II Novice Eight and II Varsity Four divisions. The Badgers are still in search of their first Big Ten crown. UW's II Novice Eight has won the individual event in five of the seven years that this race has been part of the championships.
No. 12 Minnesota returns to defend its Big Ten title this weekend. The Gophers won the event last year in convincing fashion distancing themselves ahead of second place Michigan by 33 points. It was Minnesota's first conference title in program history. The host Wolverines look to improve from a year ago as U-M is currently ranked No. 10 in the country. Michigan has won more Big Ten championships than any other school with four total titles, its last coming in 2004. Iowa will be looking for its second conference crown, as the Hawkeyes won back in 2001. Indiana is still in search of its first Big Ten title.