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May 26, 2001

GAINESVILLE, Ga. – The Ohio State women’s rowing team will return to Columbus from the 2001 NCAA Championships with some hardware.

One year after making its debut at the championships and placing ninth, the Buckeyes placed fourth with 37 overall team points at the fifth-annual championships, co-hosted by the University of Central Florida and the Lake Lanier Rowing Club at Lake Lanier, site of 1996 Olympic rowing competition.

Along with NCAA champions Washington (58 points), second-place Michigan (53) and third-place Brown (49), the Buckeyes received a trophy.

After strong showings in the day-two repechages, OSU was in position to finish anywhere from fourth to seventh, depending on how it performed in the finals.

The varsity four placed fourth in the Grand Final, the second varsity eight placed fifth in the Grand Final and the first varsity eight won the Petite Final.

“After yesterday, we knew if we performed well, we could finish fourth,” Andy Teitelbaum, OSU head coach, said. “Every boat had a job to do and each boat came through for us. They saw an opportunity and seized it. They stepped into the moment and took it.

“This is a big step to go from ninth nationally to fourth in one year. We went from making the championships to being a competitor and factor at the championships. This is what every program wants.”

The varsity four ( Meghan McCartney, stroke, Heather Arndts, 3, Erin Stagney, 2, Margot Schumway, Bow, Marlana Strange, Cox) got out to a fast start but fell behind and was in the final spot just before the 1,500 meter mark of the 2,000-meter course. A final sprint in the final 500 meters pulled OSU ahead of Brown and Princeton, giving OSU a fourth-place finish with a time of 7:38.41 to pick up crucial points. Washington (7:32.69) took first in the event.

“We have a young crew and they have fought all year,” Robbie Tenebaum, OSU assistant coach, said. “They did a great job yesterday to qualify for the Grand Finals. They came back today and might have expended too much energy early. But they found it within to go through two crews in the last 500 meters to place fourth. I’m proud of them. This is the highest finish ever for our program.”

The second varsity (Elizabeth Hellickson, stroke, Jenni Grubb, 7, Heather Feldmann, 6, Mindy Stauffer, 5, Alex Leslie, 4, Jill Davis, 3, Samantha Bomkamp, 2, Angela Wendel, Bow, Ashley Orr, Cox) also trailed much of the race, but like the varsity four, a late push moved them up and they overtook Virginia to finish fifth with a time of 6:53.27. Michigan placed first (6:43.34).

The first varsity eight (Maxi Meissner, stroke, Susi Wesenberg, 7, Sasha Kildelund, 6, Conny Kirsch, 5, Karla Fiserova, 4, Natalie Legge, 3, Katie Buttine, 2, Sisse Johansen, Bow, Susie Caldwell, Cox) wrapped up the season by winning the Petite Final with a time of 6:44.87.

The Buckeyes jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. By the halfway point (1,000 meters) OSU had a seven-seat lead over California and never let the field gain any ground, finishing nearly a full shell length ahead of California (6:48.14).

“They came out and took control early,” Teitelbaum said. “At the halfway point it became clear they weren’t going to yield.”

Washington won the Grand Final in the first varsity eight with a time of 7:04.03.

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS SCHOOL POINTS Washington 58 Michigan 53 Brown 49 Ohio State 37 Princeton 33 California 23 Virginia 22 Harvard 20 Iowa 18 Boston Univ. 17