May 5, 2004
Michigan senior Heather Mandoli has been chosen as the Big Ten Women's Rowing Athlete of the Year in a vote by the Conference coaches. Ohio State's Annabelle Fago earned Freshman of the Year accolades while Mark Rothstein garnered Coach of the Year honors.
A Kelowna, British Columbia native, Mandoli sat in the five seat of the Wolverines' First Varsity Eight boat this season and helped Michigan win the Big Ten Rowing Championships last weekend in Iowa. It was Michigan's second consecutive Conference title, its fourth Big Ten crown in five years and also marked the fourth time in five years that the Wolverines have claimed the First Varsity Eight race at the Conference Championships. U-M's First Varsity Eight has been ranked among the nation's top 10 crews all season.
A 2004 First Team All-Big Ten selection, Mandoli was also a 2003 All-Conference Second Team choice and a CRCA All-Central Region Second Team pick. She has been a member of Michigan's First Varsity Eight for two seasons. A two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Mandoli has also twice been named a U-M Athletic Academic Achievement Award winner. She is the third Michigan rower to earn Conference Athlete of the Year honors along with Kate Johnson (2000 and 2001) and Erin Kopicki (2003).
Fago, a freshman from Giessen, Germany, sat in the six and seven seats of the First Varsity Eight boat throughout the season for the Buckeyes. The Big Ten's first-ever No. 1 nationally-ranked First Varsity Eight boat, Ohio State claimed the top ranking for five straight weeks this year. OSU's First Varsity Eight was undefeated entering the Big Ten Championships last weekend. Fago was a member of the German National Team from 2000-2002.
Rothstein earns his third Big Ten Coach of the Year honor in five years. He guided the Wolverines to an upset over No. 1 Ohio State in the First Varsity Eight race at the 2004 Big Ten Championships and the Conference title. His teams have won four League championships, including two straight. He has twice been named the Central Region Coach of the Year (2000 and 2001) and also added National Coach of the Year to his resume in 2001. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Rothstein has been the Wolverine's head coach for seven years at the varsity level and five years at the club level.