NCAA Bound

Karen Colwell and the Wolverines will be in the hunt for their first national title.

May 28, 2009

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Four Big Ten teams earned bids to compete in the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships this weekend.  Big Ten Champion Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin will participate in this year's team event.

Villanova will serve as host to this year's national regatta, slated to take place Friday through Sunday, May 29-31, on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J. All four big ten squads will be in the hunt for their first national team title. A web cast of all NCAA Championships races will be available at ncaa.com.

All four Big Ten entrants are curently ranked among the top 20 in the country according to the latest USRowing/CRCA Coaches Poll.  No. 5 Michigan leads all conference schools, followed by No. 7 Michigan State, No. 9 Wisconsin and No. 14 Ohio State.

The Spartans earn their seventh full-team bid in the last eight seasons and ninth overall. MSU tied its top finish at last year's event, finishing in sixth place in the team competition while garnering fifth- and sixth-place finishes in the varsity four and varsity eight races, respectively. The Spartans have now earned a total 11 trips to the NCAA Championships since becoming a varsity sport in 1998.

The Wolverines prepare to make their ninth appearance in the national regatta in 13 years of varsity status. U-M enters the event on the heels of capturing the Central Region title on May 17 at the Central/South Region Springs in Oak Ridge, Tenn.In 2001, the Maize and Blue posted a program-best second-place overall team finish as the U-M second varsity eight won an invidiual boat national title.

The Badgers garner their fifth bid in six seasons and hope to improve on last year's NCAA performance when the squad placed 10th in Gold River, Calif. In 2006, the Badgers placed eighth as a team, the school's highest finish to date. 

The Buckeyes look to make their 10th consecutive appearance to the NCAA Championship event, and 11th overall. In the 14-year history of Ohio State rowing, the Scarlet and Gray own a program-best third-place finish as a team at the national regatta, accomplished in 2007 in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

The team championships are comprised of 16 teams and each team is required to field two boats of eight rowers and one boat of four rowers. This year marks the first time the field will feature 16 teams, rather than the 12 teams with four at-large varsity eight boats as in previous years. Joining the Big Ten quartet amongst the field of 16 will be Brown, California, Clemson, Dartmouth, Harvard, Oregon State, Princeton, Southern California, Stanford, Virginia, Washington and Yale.