Courtesy of Mindy O’Brien
The Ohio State rowing team secured the its third Big Ten Championship on Sunday in Indianapolis, earning the seniors their first championship rings.
“It was our goal from the first practice this year,” senior MacKenzie Pecor said.
The team previously won Big Ten Championships in 2002 and 2006, and Pecor said she’s excited about the opportunity to graduate with a championship.
“It is honestly so awesome. Last year was the first class from OSU that graduated without ever winning a championship ring, and we did not want to be the second class to do the same thing,” Pecor said. “You row for four years; you want to win at least once.”
Senior Jill Mohr agreed.
“It was really a dream come true,” Mohr said. “It’s something that we’ve been looking forward to and something we’ve been working toward since I was a freshman.”
Coach Andy Teitelbaum said he was proud to watch his players earn a championship for the school.
“It’s just gratifying to see the kids hard work pay off with a championship,” Teitelbaum said. “It was really nice to see a group that lived their talk so well to be rewarded.”
The team competed against all six other Big Ten schools that field a rowing team: Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Big Ten title assures it a spot in the national championships scheduled for May 27–29 in Gold River, Calif.
Pecor said she expects a change in training to prepare for the national championship but that she does not know how it will differ.
“It’s probably going to be a little bit of different training, but we haven’t really discussed it,” she said. “We’re kind of still on a high from the Big Ten.”
Teitelbaum, who has coached the Buckeyes since the program’s inception in 1995, said it’s important to continue to progress and stay in shape leading up to the national championships. This year will be the team’s 12th consecutive national championship appearance.
Mohr said the team will have to put in a lot of work to succeed.
“Our chances as a team are looking really strong going into the national championships,” Mohr said. “We have a lot to prove on the national level and that’s what we’ve been working toward.”