Dexter Grads Help UofM Clinch Thrilling Come-From-Behind Win Over OSU for BigTen Title


(L-R) Dreadnaughts graduated into Wolverines Maddy Matos (Freshman), Lauren Boydston (Junior) and Ashley Mitchell (Freshman). Photo Jill Boydston

Dexter graduates Maddy Matos, Lauren Boydston, and Ashley Mitchell spent Mother’s Day making a lot of moms proud of the fighting spirit they saw in their daughters’ come-from-behind win to give the UofM Women’s Rowing Team the Big Ten Championship in rowing. The competition was fierce to the very end, but with extraordinary fortitude and help from the Hoosiers, Matos, Boydston, Mitchell, and their teammates defeated their arch-rival from Ohio.

Going into Sunday’s competition ranked No. 11. The team clinched their eighth Big Ten Championship in the program's history. The Wolverines edged out Ohio State in the team standings by a mere five points, amassing 174 points. The gold medal-winning performances from the 1V8, 1V4, and 2N8 boats spearheaded the Wolverines' successful campaign, with the victory being sealed by the first eight in the final event. The team also secured silver in the 2V8 (Boydston) and 1N8 (Matos, Mitchell) races and bronze in the 3V4 race, underlining a comprehensive team effort.

Lauren Boydston is the #4 rower in the 2V8 boat. Photo: UofM Women's Rowing

Despite trailing the Buckeyes by 10 points at the onset of the final three races, a pivotal win by the 1V4 brought the Wolverines within a striking distance of just seven points. The stakes were high, as Michigan had to outperform the Buckeyes in the varsity eight events, a challenge complicated by OSU's win in the 2V8 race. Nonetheless, the Wolverines rose to the occasion, finishing ahead of the Buckeyes and securing the team title with a significant assist from Indiana, who finished second in the final race. Five All-Big Ten athletes emerged from the 1V8's sterling performance.

The championship's decisive moment came in the first varsity eight race, where the Wolverines needed to clinch gold and hope for an OSU finish of third place or worse to take the lead in the team points race. Displaying a commanding performance, the Wolverines led the race from start to finish. Their efforts were rewarded as Indiana finished second, pushing OSU to third place and thus handing the team title to the Wolverines.

Maddy Matos (sixth seat) and Ashley Mitchell (first seat -bow seat) rowed in the 1N8 boat. Photo: UofM Women’s Rowing

The Wolverines' impressive performance extended to the novice eights and the fours, with the 1V4's gold-medal effort and 2V8's silver-medal finish contributing significantly to the victory. The 2N8 started the day with a thrilling win, edging out OSU by just 0.088 seconds and setting a positive tone for the rest of the day.

Following this triumph, Matos, Boydston, Mitchell, and the Wolverines are set to return to New Jersey for the NCAA Championships from May 26-28 at the Camden County Boathouse. As the winners of the Big Ten Championship, they have secured the conference's automatic berth to the 2023 NCAA Championships. The full field for the upcoming championships will be unveiled on Tuesday on The Big Ten Network and the FOX Sports app will provide comprehensive coverage of the championships.

The UofM Women’s Rowing Team upon winning the 2023 title. Photo: Jill Boydston

#DreadStrong #GoBlue

Team Standings
1. MICHIGAN -- 174
2. Ohio State -- 169
3. Indiana -- 137
4. Rutgers -- 131
5. Iowa -- 90
6. Wisconsin -- 75
7. Minnesota -- 50
8. Michigan State – 37


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