PARK RIDGE, IL - Michigan State senior Erin Robertson has been selected as the Big Ten Women's Rowing Athlete of the Year in a vote of the Conference coaches as announced by the League office today. Teammate Anne Cowan earned Freshman of the Year accolades while Matt Weise garnered Coach of the Year honors.
A Middleville, Mich., native, Robertson sat in the seven seat of the Spartans' First Varsity Eight boat and helped propel Michigan State to the Conference crown at the Big Ten Rowing Championships last weekend in Indiana. It was Michigan State's first-ever League title, as the Spartans became the third school in the six-year history of the Championships to claim the team title. It also marked the first time the Spartans' top boat has claimed the First Varsity Eight title.
A 2005 First Team All-Big Ten selection, Robertson began her collegiate career as a walk-on, learning to row at Michigan State. She has three Big Ten titles to her credit, including a First Varsity Four win as a freshman and was a member of the winning Second Varsity Eight crew as a sophomore. A two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Robertson is the second MSU rower to earn Conference Athlete of the Year honors along with Krista Buzzell (2002).
Cowen, a freshman from London, Ontario, sat in the seven seat of the Second Varsity Eight boat this season for the Spartans. She is the third Spartan to claim Freshman of the Year laurels, as Stacey Hicks and Christen Brown were honored in 2001 and 2003, respectively.
Weise collects his first Big Ten Coach of the Year honor in just his first year as mentor of the Michigan State program, after having served as an assistant for seven seasons. He guided the Spartans to their first League title at this year's Championships, including first-place finishes in the First Varsity Four, First Varsity Eight, and Second Varsity Four races. His squads have participated in the NCAA Championships each year since its inception, including an all-time best finish of eighth place in 2002.