Courtesy of Mindy O’Brien
The No. 4-ranked Ohio State rowing team was selected as one of 16 teams that will head to West Windsor, N.J., this week to compete for the national title at the NCAA Championships.
The rowing, which had one of the athletic department’s 46 self-reported NCAA violations that were released last week, have qualified for the NCAA championships every year as a team since 2000, making this their 13th-consecutive appearance. The program is one of only five in the nation to achieve that number of consecutive trips.
OSU finished second at the Big Ten Championships on May 13, with a total of 145 points, falling behind Michigan, which took home the win with 147 points.
The NCAA Championships are made up of 16 teams, with each team fielding two boats of eight rowers, First and Second Varsity Eights, and one boat of four rowers, First Varsity Four.
Senior Ellen Heister, who rows on the First Varsity Eight, said the loss to Michigan at the Big Ten Championships will give the team an advantage going into nationals.
“Big Tens was kind of a learning experience for us. We saw the speed that Michigan has all season, but we hadn’t gotten to race them until Big Tens. We got to analyze a few things about our own race, in relation to how they did when they beat us, so I think that will be beneficial when we get to race them again,” Heister said. “I think we’re all really excited about where our team is seeded in accomplishing the goal that we set at the beginning of the year.”
Coach Andy Teitelbaum said that with the goal and focus on winning a national championship, the team looks forward to racing former competitors and new opponents.
“I think Michigan showed us a couple of things in the First and Second Eight, and now it’s up to us to see whether or not we’re equal to the challenge,” Teitelbaum said. “They’re not the only crew that’s out there that I think is particularly formidable. We haven’t seen anybody from the West Coast, so it will be fun to see how we stack up against their speed.”
Junior Allison Elber of the First Varsity Eight said the team is eager to meet the high competition and compete at the next level.
“There are a lot of really good teams there and we’re expecting that, and we feel that we’re ready to compete at that level now, so we’re just really excited to get out there and show what we can do,” Elber said.
Sophomore Claire-Louise Bode of the First Varsity Eight, said the two-point loss to Michigan at the Big Ten Championships was a part of their journey toward the goal of a national title.
“I feel like that was one step towards what we plan to do,” Bode said. “Now that we’ve gone through it, we have a better picture in our heads of where we’re going to, and the goal is in reach. We’re ready for it now.”
The Buckeyes will compete on Lake Mercer in West Windsor, N.J., for the NCAA Championships Friday through Sunday.