May 2, 2007
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Just days after a record-breaking performance by Minnesota at the Big Ten Women's Rowing Championships, the Golden Gophers earned additional postseason honors Wednesday (May 2), as Jennifer Barnes and mentor Wendy Davis were named Athlete and Coach of the Year, respectively. The conference coaches, who voted on the postseason accolades, also honored Michigan's Adrienne Mecham as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Barnes, a senior from Columbus, Ind., is the first Gopher to earn Athlete of the Year since the award's inception in 2000. An All-Big Ten selection in 2006 and 2007, Barnes sat in the six-seat of Minnesota's First Varsity Eight, helping lead the boat to a pair of Big Ten Boat of the Week selections this season. In 2006, Barnes was the first Minnesota rower in school history to earn first-team All-America honors.
Mecham, a freshman from Lake Stevens, Wash., is the second Wolverine to claim Freshman of the Year laurels, as Leah Ketcheson first earned the award in 2002. At stroke of the First Varsity Eight boat, Mecham guided the Wolverines to first place in the event at this past weekend's Big Ten Championships. The U-M newcomer was named second-team All-Big Ten and was also a recipient of Michigan's Athletic Academic Achievement award.
Davis collects her second-straight Big Ten Coach of the Year honor, after sharing the award with Ohio State's Andy Teitelbaum in 2006. In her seventh year at the helm of the Minnesota program, Davis, who led the Gophers to their first NCAA Championships appearance after a runner-up finish at the 2006 Big Ten Championships, guided Minnesota to its first-ever conference title this season. Minnesota won four of six races - the Second Varsity Eight, the First and Second Varsity Four races and the First Novice Eight - and advanced all six boats to the Grand Finals to accumulate a conference-record 150 points.
In addition, All-Conference teams and Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honorees, which follow below, were announced this past weekend at the Big Ten Championships.
Big Ten Sportsmanship Honorees
Emily Kasavana, Indiana; Melissa Wordelman, Iowa; Marin McCabe, Michigan; Jenna Peters, Michigan State; Cheryl Wick, Minnesota; Justine Mahler, Ohio State; Susan Masterson, Wisconsin