COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 12 Ohio State rowing team is ready for more action at 9 a.m. Saturday. The Buckeyes are set to face-off against No. 11 Clemson and No. 2 Virginia on Lake Monticello in Lake Monticello, Va.

The Scarlet and Gray just opened its season last week (March 27) at No. 8 Princeton and vs. No. 5 Brown. This week is the second of three-consecutive road regattas. For the complete 2010 schedule, click HERE. 

Boat-by-Boat Lineup vs. No. 2 Virginia and No. 11 Clemson
*All lineups are from bow to stroke seat 

Ingrid Aasaaren
Carolin Helmholz
Claudia Herpertz
Ulrike Denker
Emily Walsh
Emily Ralph
Erin Shropshire
Sara Wallace
Samantha Getz (coxswain)

Anniken Ellingsen
Tess Prescott
Jill Mohr
Ellen Heister
Mandy Merritt
Katie Flarida
Lindsey Titus
Charlott Goldstein
Kristin DiJosie (coxswain)

Stephanie Johnson
Kate Sweeney
Katie Coons
Farrah Edwards

Ashley Dzurnak
Julie Dick
Katherine Tylinski
Kara Shropshire

Kristen Ricker
Kaitlin Maloney 
Samantha Autry
Eileen Gehlhausen
Jessica Danker
Sarah Brad
Elizabeth Trentman
Christine McMillan 
Katie Daniel (coxswain)
Elise Mayo 
Colleen Krajewski 
Jessica Breig 
Sam Fowle 
Caroline Farrar 
Leslie Weist 
Sarah Cornish 
Allison Elber 
Kyrsten French (coxswain)

Erin Shropshire, senior First Varsity Eight
On the races this weekend in Virginia
“I think we just really want to go out there and attack the race. Virginia is always a really good opponent to judge. Virginia is always a very strong team that has a lot of depth and a lot of experience on their team that we’re going to be going up against.”

We have a smaller team this year, but we face off against them every year and it’s going to be interesting to row against the same girls’ we’ve been rowing against for four years now. It’s interesting to see how we’ll go up against this team since we have similar rowing styles.”

Claudia Herpertz, sophomore First Varsity Eight
On opening week at Princeton
“We had pretty good preparation for the week and a good feel for the race, but we lost it a little bit during competition. If we can come together as a boat and as a team I think we’ll be better.”

We know what to look for in Virginia, they’re a strong team. We beat them last year and we hope to do the same thing this year. We want to beat Clemson and show them what kind of team we have here at Ohio State.”

My personal goals are to race fast and make sure we stay together as a boat. I really want to show people what we’re like as a team.”

Beautiful weather will be in store for the rowers Saturday. The regatta will kick-off with a sunny start at 59 degrees and by the end it will warm up to a pleasant 74 degrees.

It was a somewhat different lineup and obviously a new year, but the First Varsity Four continued its successful end of the season run from a year ago when it finished first in its race vs. No. 5 Brown and No. 8 Princeton March 27 on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, N.J. The regatta served as the 10th-ranked Buckeyes’ 2010 debut.

With two rowers, Anniken Ellingsen and Ellen Heister a part of that flourishing boat at the end of 2009, the crew definitely had winning experience on its side when Stephanie Johnson and Kate Sweeney joined the boat.  The group (7:55.6) clocked in an even two seconds before Brown (7:57.6), while Princeton finished in 7:58.1.

In the First Varsity Eight, there were many new faces, mostly the result of graduating seniors. With only three members of the 2009 1V8 that finished 10th at the NCAA championships remaining, the Buckeyes ushered in a new, yet resilient group. Returning to that NCAA First Varsity Eight was Ulrike Denker, Carolin Helmholz and Claudia Herpertz. The trio rowed with Ingrid Aasaaren, Erin Shropshire, Emily Walsh, Emily Ralph, Sara Wallace and Samantha Getz. Together, they finished in 6:55.0. The Tigers won the race in 6:38, followed by the Bears (6:41.2).

The 2V8 also had several new faces, but also some veterans in that particular boat to help lead the way. Returning from an eighth-place finish in the 2009 NCAA Championships, Tess Prescott, Caroline McPherson, Katie Flarida and Lindsey Titus are primed to make a successful run this season with the addition of Jill Mohr, Claudia Schiwy, Mandy Merritt, Charlott Goldstein and Kristin DiJosie. Collectively, the boat finished the 2,000 meters in 7:12.9. Brown clocked in at 7:01.9 and Princeton finished the race in 7:04.8.

Princeton and Brown did not race Second Varsity Fours. Instead the teams raced a Third or Fourth Varsity Eight (4V8). Ohio State’s 2V4, plus four novices competed against Browns’ 4V8, while the Buckeyes’ First Novice Eight raced both teams’ 3V8.

Finishing second in a time of 7:45.7, the “Third Varsity Four” outdistanced Princeton (7:54.0) by a little more than eight seconds. Brown clocked in at 7:36.4.

The Buckeye “Fourth Varsity Four” finished their race in 8:01.0, behind Brown’s 7:43.5. That group comprised MacKenzie Pecor, Farrah Edwards, Katie Coons, Kara Shropshire, Sarah Brad, Elizabeth Trentman, Kaitlin Maloney, Jessica Danker and Katherine Tylinski.

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.
For photos of the early building stages of the boathouse, click HERE. 

The Buckeyes will host one home regatta on the Scioto River at Griggs Reservoir this season April 18. Ohio State will welcome Michigan, Michigan State and USC.

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 will follow 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 dipped to 12th in the country from 10th after the opening week of the season. 

Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/USRowing Rankings
March 31, 2010
Team (1st-Place Votes) Total Votes
1. Yale (10) 457
2. University (7) 450
3. Stanford (8) 448 
4. California 438 
5. Brown 358 
6. Princeton 340 
7. Michigan State 336 
8t. Washington 328 
8t. USC 328 
10. Michigan 261 
11. Clemson 229 
12. Ohio State 197 
13. Wisconsin 181
14. Washington State 171
15. UCLA 156
16. Dartmouth 89
17. Tennessee 84
18. Oregon State 81 
19. Harvard 70
20. Notre Dame 58

Receiving Votes: Pennsylvania 40, Louisville 32, Iowa 30, Minnesota 29, Gonzaga 15, Texas 11, Central Florida 9, Columbia 8, Bucknell 4, Buffalo 3, Northeastern 3, Syracuse 1, Indiana 1, Boston University 1, California at Davis 1, San Diego 1 and Rhode Island 1.

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. 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 for her country in which 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.”

In addition to their commitment to rowing practice and now competition, the Buckeyes had an enormous presence in the community during this past fall and winter. To name just 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.

Junior coxswain Erika Benford was featured on the Big Ten Network this past summer and fall. In August, Benford, along with some of her student-athlete peers, taped a “Faces of the Big Ten” commercial. Benford also was featured in the network’s “Big Ten Short Stories” program. In the show, Benford discusses her mother and family’s battle with breast cancer and how that life experience influenced her many community service initiatives.
Click HERE to watch Benford’s “Faces of the Big Ten” commercial.  

Ohio State will travel to Bloomington, Ind., to race No. 10 Michigan, No. 7 Michigan State and No. 20 Notre Dame April 10.