Big Ten Teams Head to NCAA Championships This Weekend

May 25, 2006

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Big Ten champion Ohio State will be joined by Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin at the 2006 NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships held May 26-28 at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J. The Princeton National Rowing Association and Rutgers University will serve as co-hosts of the event.

This year marks the third-consecutive time in conference history and fourth overall that four schools will represent the Big Ten at the NCAA Championships, since rowing became a league sport in 2000.

Ohio State, led by its two varsity eight boats, won its second Big Ten Rowing Championships crown in April and captured the overall and central titles at the regional championships on May 14-15. The Buckeyes will be making their seventh-straight appearance at the NCAA final event. Under 2006 Co-Coach of the Year Andy Teitelbaum, OSU has never finished lower than ninth (2000) and placed as high as fourth in 2001. Athlete of Year Ninett Kossowsky was joined by  teammates Beth Tompkins, Annabelle Fago, Jessica Sheperd and Gabriele Albertaviciute as being named to All-Conference teams this season and will lead Ohio State in NCAA action this weekend.

Michigan State earned its seventh-consecutive bid to the National Championship Regatta. The Spartans finished 10th at last year's event and will look to All-Big Ten honorees Christen Brown, Erin Robertson, Jasmine Pickler, and Beth Smith to lead the way at this year's championships. MSU, who finished fifth in both the overall and central regional standings with 312 points is currently ranked 14th in the USRowing/CRCA poll.

Co-Coach of the Year Wendy Davis and the Minnesota Golden Gophers will make their first NCAA appearance since its inaugural season as a varsity sport in the 2001 after receiving an at-large bid. The Maroon and Gold First Varsity Eight, comprised of coxswain Megan Flannery, Cheryl Wick, Berit Tomten, Jillian Casey, Jennifer Barnes, Laura Jatautaite, Vilma Stragyte, Erika Bartkute and Katie Biese, will be the lone squad to compete for Minnesota. Barnes was a first-team All-Big Ten honoree this season while Biese,Tometen and Wick were all named to the second team.

Wisconsin earned its third-straight bid to the NCAA Rowing Championships after a second-place finish in both the overall and central regional standings at the Aramark Central/South Regional Sprints on May 14-15. The Badgers placed seniors Emily Simonds and Kirby Gallie on All-Conference teams while Sarah Wrenshall earned Freshman of the Year accolades. UW will join the other league teams competing this weekend in their quest for their first-ever national crowns.

The team championships is comprised of 12 squads and each team is required to field two boats of eight rowers and one boat of four rowers. In addition, four eight-women boats from institutions not represented in the team competition are selected.

The selection of teams and individual boats was based on eligibility and availability of student-athletes; regional championship results; regional rankings; late-season performance; head-to-head results; results against teams/boats already selected; results against common opponents; and results against regionally-ranked teams/boats. One team from each region was selected and the remaining seven teams were chosen at-large.

The following teams were selected to complete at this year's NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships:

TEAMS
Brown, California, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Princeton, Stanford, Tennessee, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin, Yale

AT-LARGE EIGHTS
Boston U., Minnesota, Southern California, UCLA