COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State rowing team will seek its third Big Ten Championship Saturday when it competes in Laingsburg, Mich. Michigan State will serve as the event’s host on Lake Ovid and action is set to get under way at 8 a.m. The Buckeyes will race Michigan State, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The Buckeyes earned Top 5 seeds in all six boats. The First Varsity Eight is a fourth seed, while the Second Varsity Eight is a three seed. Both the First Varsity Four and Second Varsity Four earned fourth seeds. The First Novice Eight is a fifth seed and the Second Novice Eight is a fourth seed.
The Big Ten Network will televise the 2010 Big Ten Championships from Laingsburg, Mich., on tape delay at noon May 16.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS ON FACEBOOK
Follow the Buckeyes at the Big Ten Championships on the official conference championship Facebook page http://tinyurl.com/2ca6cac. Fans will find Big Ten standings, scores, rankings and upcoming events. It also features videos and trivia for sports fans.
LAST TIME AROUND…
The last time Ohio State competed in Laingsburg, Mich., in the Big Ten Championships, it won the title with a total of 138 points. The win was the program’s first Big Ten title in its then seven-year history. Defending Big Ten Champion Michigan finished 14 points behind the Buckeyes.
2009 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Ohio State played host to the 2009 Big Ten Championships May 2 at Griggs Reservoir and took third on its home course.
The Buckeyes finished with 123 points, just three points shy of second-place Michigan. Michigan State won its second-consecutive championship with a total of 137 points.
Ohio State continued its streak of never finishing lower than third in the 10-year history of the Big Ten championships.
“We raced as well as we could today and it all came down to the First Varsity Eight boat,” Andy Teitelbaum, Ohio State head coach, said. “Those two Michigan boats were better than us today. As a group, they performed equal to or above to their seeding so you really can’t ask more from a group.”
After competing in the morning heats, the Buckeyes advanced to five of six Grand Finals, including all four varsity boats. Michigan and Wisconsin were the two teams to advance to the Grand Finals in all six events.
“If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a city to put on a Big Ten championship,” Teitelbaum said. “I am grateful to the university, city and all the kids because it was a great championship. I am glad the Big Ten Network came out today because I think we showed what a great venue we have and how exciting the sport is.”
Following the event, Ohio State had three members of its First Varsity Eight named to all-conference teams. Senior co-captain Susanne Herbrand was a first-team selection. Fellow senior co-captain Peta-Leigh Dakyns and junior Charlott Goldstein were named to the second team.
Ohio State has consistently faced ranked teams this season. The Buckeyes kicked off the year March 27 against No. 8 Princeton and No. 5 Brown, followed by No. 2 Virginia and No. 11 Clemson April 3. Ohio State then raced No. 10 Michigan and No. 7 Michigan State April 10. The Scarlet and Gray wrapped up the regular season hosting No. 11 Michigan, No. 8 Michigan State and No. 7 USC April 18. Now the Buckeyes will prepare for No. 8 Michigan State and No. 11 Michigan for the third consecutive time.
The Second Varsity Eight defeated Michigan State April 10 by a mere four-tenths of a second (the smallest margin of victory this season). The rowers – Jill Mohr, Tess Prescott, Claudia Schiwy, Emily Ralph, Mandy Merritt, Caroline McPherson, Lindsey Titus, Charlott Goldstein and Kristin DiJosie – clocked in at 6:55.1, while The Spartans followed in 6:55.5.A PLACE TO CALL HOME
Ohio State will officially move into its new boathouse, The Griggs Reservoir Boathouse, around late fall/early winter, just in time for the 2011 rowing season. An updated photo gallery is on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
The Buckeyes took a different approach when choosing team leaders this season. Instead of captains, Ohio State chose a contingent for its Leadership Group. Seniors Katie Flarida, Sara Wallace and Mandy Merritt, as well as junior Erika Benford and sophomore Claudia Herpertz make up this group.
The Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/USRowing Rankings has a new format this year. Instead of individual First Varsity Eights receiving rankings, an entire team will earn a Top 20 standing based on its performance throughout the season. The Buckeyes are 15th with 166 points in the current standings released April 21.
SEE YOU SOON
Katie Beletskaya, Meghan Birkbeck and Claire-Louise Bode signed National Letters of Intent and will join the Ohio State rowing team for their freshmen season in the fall of 2010 head coach Andy Teitelbaum announced.
Birkbeck hails from Absecon, N.J., where she rows for the Holy Spirit High School crew team. Holy Spirit is the same alma mater of junior coxswain Kristin DiJosie. Birkbeck attended the U.S. junior team selection camp and raced at Club Nationals. She is also a swimmer, competing in the 100m breast.
“Meghan is exactly the type of athlete who does well at Ohio State,” Teitelbaum said. “She’s excited by the competitive nature of our program and possesses the natural attributes to be a great rower here. She’s been a two-sport athlete throughout high school and we are looking forward to seeing how she develops when she trains as a rower year round.”
Beletskaya, of Vineland, N.J., rows for Vineland High School. This past summer, she raced for the Atlantic Coast Rowing Club at the Independence Day Regatta in Philadelphia and Club Nationals in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
“Katie was tremendously impressive when we had her on campus this fall,” Teitelbaum said. “Her interest in our program and desire to be a part of the Ohio State environment really left an impression upon the staff and our athletes. We’re excited to have someone with her athleticism included in our incoming class.”
Bode, a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, participated in the Junior World Championships where she successfully made the A final and came in fifth.
“Claire is already at a high level for a rower of her age,” Teitelbaum said. “Her finish in the coxless pair event at the Junior World championships is indicative of the caliber of athlete we have traditionally recruited to OSU. As her strength and technique grow, we see her as continuing the long line of successful national team rowers who have improved while at Ohio State.”
A PRESENCE IN THE COMMUNITY
In addition to their commitment to rowing practice and competition, the Buckeyes have had an enormous presence in the community during this past fall and winter. To name just a few of Ohio State’s community service initiatives, it participated in the ‘Light The Night’ walk hosted by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, ‘Making Strides against Breast Cancer’ event coordinated by the American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity and Operation Buckeye.
Next up for the Buckeyes is the Aramark South/Central Region Sprints in Oak Ridge, Tenn., May 15-16.