The University of Wisconsin nearly doubled its total of All-Big Ten rowers when the 2004 All-Big Ten Rowing Team was announced following the conference rowing championships this past weekend. Senior captains Nicole Weir and Christina Strasser appear on the first team, while junior Nikki Lennart and sophomore Kari Harmon were both chosen to the second team.
Weir, a Milwaukee native, and Strasser, from Bothell, Wash., join Katie Hammes (2000); Bridgid Myers (2001); Marianna Waters (2002); and Erin Gladding (2003) as first-team Badgers.
Both 2003 Academic All-Big Ten picks, Weir and Strasser are the only two seniors on Wisconsin's 13th-ranked varsity eight. The pair helped Wisconsin to a third-place varsity eight finish at last weekend's Big Ten championships and a second-place team result, both the school's highest in the five-year history of the event.
Lennart, also a Milwaukee native and one of just three juniors on the varsity eight last weekend, is a past Big Ten Boat of the Week member from her time with the varsity four as a rookie in 2001. Lennart climbed to the varsity eight midway through her sophomore season and has stroked Wisconsin's top boat in each race to this point in 2004.
Harmon, a Menomonie, Wis., native, is the first UW sophomore named to the All-Big Ten team. Part of Wisconsin's 2003 Big Ten Champion novice eight, she sits in the six seat for the Badgers' No. 13 varsity eight.
The four new members of the All-Big Ten team join six previous Badgers, including a pair of two-time winners in Bridgid Myers (2001, ‘02) and Marianna Waters (2002, ‘03). In each of the prior four Big Ten championships, just two Badgers earned All-Big Ten status.
Wisconsin returns to the water for competition May 15-16 in Oak Ridge, Tenn., for the 2004 South-Central Regional Regatta. The race is the last before NCAA selections are made May 18. The Badgers look for their first NCAA appearance since 1999 and second overall.