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April 20, 2005 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-04-20

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 20, 2005 -15

Seniors look back
on four years at'M'

The Michigan women's rowing team is supported by the Open Water Club, a group of parents that travel around the country to watch the team compete.
Open Water Club aims to buy tank

By Sara Livingston
Daily Sports Writer
They're the ones whose voices are hoarse for
days from yelling "Let's Go Blue" as loud as they
can. They're the ones who are there after a tough
race, grilling burgers and making fruit salad to
make sure everyone's energy is high. They're the
ones that travel hundreds of miles to Bloomington
and Columbus just to lend their support in any way
possible. They're the members of the Open Water
Club, which consist of current and past parents of
rowers on the Michigan women's rowing team.
The club - which got its name from the idea
that a crew always wants to have open water on
its opponents - has been growing ever since row-
ing became a varsity sport at Michigan in 1996.
During races, the club sells refreshments and
Michigan rowing gear to help raise money for the
team. Its ultimate goal is to help the team purchase
an indoor water tank. The tank would allow the
rowers to practice on the water during the win-
ter months and keep up with their warm-weather
"The kids just have a great attitude and a great
coach, and they just have so much spirit for every-
body else," Open Water Club President Jan Godek
said as she sorted through a pile of Michigan crew
T-shirts, searching for the right size for an eager
supporter. "We just all love doing it. I just love it.
While my daughter (fifth-year senior Elizabeth
Godek) is graduating this year, I'm from Ann
Arbor, and I'll still be involved."
In the club's latest attempt to raise money for the
team, it has created a cookbook entitled "Crew'd
Foods." This is a collaboration of the families'
favorite dishes. Ranging from easy strawberry
cream pie to crab Florentine casserole, the 94-rec-
ipe book is the product of two years of work on the
part of dedicated parents.
Even though the clear-cut description of the
club is simply a booster group that is helping to

the Open Water Club is far less tangible and stems
from the undying support and encouragement it
has for the team year round.
"(The Open Water Club) gives us the opportu-
nity to develop a relationship with these parents,
so it makes us feel like we have a place away from
it all to go when racing gets really heated," senior
Sarah Towbridge said. "These parents give us their
homes and are always there for us, and it makes
me feel as though my parents are watching me. If
we have a bad race it's nice to have these caring
parents around that aren't just there for their own
kids but are there for the entire team.
The night before last weekend's race against
Iowa and No. 14 Wisconsin, the rowers had a team
dinner at the house of former Open Water Club
presidents Pam and Jack Ceo. The Ceo's - whose
daughter Christina graduated in 2003 - brought
the Open Water Club back to life and built it into
what it is today during their tenure from 2001-03.
Their goal was to build a community where all the
parents could stay informed of the team's progress
and remain involved if they were unable to attend
the races. More importantly, the Ceo's created an
environment where the rowers felt comfortable and
gave them a loving family away from home.
"My parents have never been to a race," said
senior Cristin McCary, who is from Saskatchewan,
Canada. "There are definitely a lot of other parents
here that live closer. I see them probably 10 times
as much as I see my parents. It's almost as though
they have become my parents. They are there sup-
porting me just as much as my own would."
In forming the Open Water Club, the parents
have created their own network of friends,. one
that is constantly continuing to grow as the team
becomes more and more successful.
"We just love it," Pam Ceo said. "We have
made so many great friends through this. We have
deemed Oakridge, Tenn. - which is where region-
als are - the site of the parent alumni reunion.
We are going to get as many parents there as pos-
sible. We just love the people we work with and the

coaches as well."
One of the club's first members was John Mosk-
wa. His daughter Alyson graduated in 1997 - just
one year after the team went varsity. Moscow can
still be spotted at every rowing meet with two sets
of binoculars around his neck and blue Michigan
rowing gear from head to toe. In addition to help-
ing post the scores for the parents to see, Moskwa
constantly patrols the boathouse deck looking out
onto the water through his binoculars to check the
Wolverines' progress.
"So many of the girls live so far away that their
parents can't be here to watch them, so all of us
that live in Michigan or close by that are able to
come and support them do," Moskwa said.
The No. 2 Wolverines are overly appreciative
of the Open Water Club's efforts for giving them
a positive environment to compete in, as well as
a home away from home and surrogate parents to
support them through their collegiate years.
"The Open Water Club has been phenomenal,"
senior Tara Medina said. "They are great support-
ers of us. A lot of the parents come to all of the
races and especially for our home races, and, in
particular, our last home race. It's great to have
them here. You're not just racing for yourself, or
racing for Michigan, but you're racing for your par-
ents and showing off for them in a way. You have
someone you care about working hard for you."

By Daniel Levy
Daily Sports Writer
Last Saturday's match against Ohio
State marked the first time this season the
Michigan women's tennis team competed
outdoors in Ann Arbor. More importantly,
it marked the last time senior co-captains
Michelle DaCosta and Leanne Rutherford
donned the Maize and Blue at home - an
occasion that left both players in disbelief.
"The time really flew by,"DaCosta said.
"I can't believe it is here already."
While echoing these same sentiments,
Rutherford also focused on the thrill of the
"It is pretty exciting, and a lot of fun,"
Rutherford said.
Four years of Michigan tennis has left
a lot for DaCosta and Rutherford to think
about once they leave.
"I am going to miss seeing some of my
best friends every day at practice," Ruth-
erford said. "The traveling was fun, and
there have been a lot of exciting matches.
But, most of all, I am going to miss that
intense feeling I get when I am compet-
ing for Michigan. You can't replicate that
Aside from the thrill of competition,
DaCosta is going to miss the comfort of
Ann Arbor the most.
"I will miss competing at home,"
DaCosta said. "We have such loyal fans
and great facilities. You can't ask for any-
thing more."
Both players stepped into action as
freshmen. DaCosta was thrown right into
the No. 2 singles slot, while Rutherford
filled the hole at No. 4. With four years of
match experience, there have been plenty
of great moments for the two. For Ruther-
ford, it was breaking into the lineup as a
"Freshman year we were unranked and
hosted a good Miami, (Fla.) team," Ruth-
erford said. "The whole thing came down
to my match, and I won. It was my first true
taste of college tennis. I hadn't experienced
anything like that yet. It was so exciting."
For DaCosta, a similar story with a
comeback twist will always stick out in her
"Last year, at Purdue, I was down
5-1 in the third set of the deciding
match and came back to win. That

Senior Michelle DaCosta's time at
Michigan is almost done.
was pretty special."
Michigan tennis has had an even larger
meaning for DaCosta. Having held the No.
1 singles spot since her sophomore sea-
son, she has been looked upon as a leader
almost every year of her career.
"Coming here was really special for
me," DaCosta said. " I was so lucky to
come to a program like this. It has every-
thing I could ever want. I felt like I had to
give it back to them."
Hosting the rival Buckeyes may have
helped DaCosta and Rutherford focus on
tennis instead of getting caught up in the
moment - both players came out on top
in their last appearance at Michigan's Var-
sity Tennis Center.
"Ohio State is always a big match,"
Rutherford said. "The rivalry extends to
every sport when it comes to Michigan
and Ohio State. Both teams want to win."
DaCosta and Rutherford will play
in their final road dual matches of their
careers this weekend when the Wolverines
travel to Bloomington on Friday and then
State College on Sunday.


-._... IB , ,
/ W

financially support the team, the true
Women's golf hopes
to oust Buckeyes
The women's golf team hopes to ben-
efit from a home course advantage this
weekend when the Wolverines host the
Big Ten Championships at the Michi-
gan Golf Course. Six golfers from each
team play 72 holes, with the lowest four
scores in each round counting toward
their team's total.
No. 26 Michigan comes into the
tournament ranked second in the Big
Ten behind No. 10 Ohio State. Led
by senior Kristen White, the Buck-
eyes will try for their fourth consecu-
tive Big Ten title. White won the Big
Ten crown last year by 17 strokes.

purpose of
Ohio State

also finished eighth at

the NCAA Championships in 2004.
Michigan has had the edge over the
Buckeyes this season, finishing high-
er than Ohio State at both the Lady
Northern Invitational and the Central
District Classic.
Michigan is looking to build off
its momentum from the regular sea-
son where the Wolverines went 36-0
against conference opponents, win-
ning four team titles. The team is also
riding a high from their co-champion-
ship at the Lady Boilermaker Invita-
tional held April 9-10.
Sophomore Brianna Broderick is
trying to improve on her clutch top-10
finish at last year's Big Ten Champion-
ship. At that event she tied a Michigan
record for lowest freshman total. The
Wolverines tied for fifth at Big Tens last
-Lindsey Ungar

A Morning at your
Internship, an Evening
with Monet
Choose from over 600 courses. You'll be joining
7,000 other students who know that world-class
learning at Boston University takes place morning,
noon, and night.


E °
. 4
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