Big Ten Announces Rowing Individual Honors

Michigan State head coach Matt Weise earned his third Big Ten Coach of the Year honor after leading MSU to the 2009 Big Ten Women's Rowing Championship.

May 6, 2009

PARK RIDGE, ILL. -- After winning the Big Ten Rowing Championship on May 2, Michigan State earned additional honors as Sarah Schmidt was named Athlete of the Year and head general Matt Weise was tabbed as conference Coach of the Year by his peers. Michigan’s Melisa Ongun also earned the nod as Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

Schmidt, a senior from Grosse Ile, Mich., becomes the third Spartan to be named Athlete of the Year, and will bring the award back to East Lansing for the second straight season after Anne Cowan was recognized with the distinction a year ago.  Schmidt helped propel the first varsity eight to a first-place finish in this year’s conference championships race, earning All-Big Ten first-team recognition for her performance.

Ongun, a freshman from Chicago, is the third Wolverine to take home Freshman of the Year honors as other U-M newcomers won the award in 2002 and 2007.  Ongun is a member of Michigan’s varsity eight at the stroke position and helped her crew to the medal stand with a second-place effort at this year’s Big Ten Championships.
Weise collects his second consecutive Big Ten Coach of the Year honor and his third overall, having earned his first award in 2005. 

In only his fifth season at the helm of the MSU program, Weise garnered his third Big Ten Championship over the weekend as the Spartans captured top finishes in the first and second varsity eight races, which combined for 105 of the team's 137 points.

In addition to the individual honors, the Big Ten announced the first and second All-Big Ten teams at the conclusion of the conference championships on Saturday. Big Ten Champion Michigan State led the conference with a combined five student-athletes earning all-conference distinction, while runner-up Michigan saw four rowers recognized with the honor.

The conference office also announced honorees from each of the seven rowing squads for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. Honorees for women's rowing are Indiana’s Sarah Tinsley, Iowa’s Hannah Miller, Michigan’s Taylor Day, Michigan State’s Ashley Wenneman, Minnesota’s Tina Cho, Ohio State’s Mandy Merritt and Wisconsin’s Brittany Renault .

The complete All-Big Ten teams and Sportsmanship Award honorees can be found below.

First Team
Ashley Johnson – Indiana
Sheila Rinozzi - Iowa
Karen Colwell - Michigan
Caitlin Trumbull – Michigan
Amanda Dunnill - Michigan State
Lauren Gamble - Michigan State
Sarah Schmidt - Michigan State
Lisa Pugh - Minnesota
Susanne Herbrand - Ohio State
Theresa Shields - Wisconsin

Second Team
Rachel Anderson - Indiana
Jessica Novack – Iowa
Ashley Kroll - Michigan
Adrienne Mecham – Michigan
Nancy Diehl - Michigan State
Ashley Peach - Michigan State
Ashlee Vilmo - Minnesota
Peta-Leigh Dakyns - Ohio State
Charlott Goldstein - Ohio State
Maggie Galloway - Wisconsin 
Sportsmanship Award Honorees:
Sarah Tinsley, Indiana
Hannah Miller, Iowa
Taylor Day, Michigan
Ashley Wenneman, Michigan State
Tina Cho, Minnesota
Mandy Merritt, Ohio State
Brittany Renault, Wisconsin
Athlete of the Year:  
Sarah Schmidt, Michigan State    

Freshman of the Year:   
Melisa Ongun, Michigan       

Coach of the Year:
Matt Weise, Michigan State