COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 14 Ohio State rowing team has diligently worked towards its goal this season. The Buckeyes determination landed them a spot in the NCAA championships to be held in Gold River, Calif., on Lake Natoma beginning at 8:45 a.m. Friday, 9 a.m. Saturday and 9:45 a.m. Sunday. Washington State University is set to host the championship.

Ohio State will compete against 15 teams in Brown, California, UCLA, Clemson, Michigan, Michigan State, Princeton, USC, Stanford, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin and Yale.

The NCAA championships embodies the best of the best in collegiate rowing. In an event that gathers the Top 16 teams in the nation, the NCAA championships is a three-day affair that promotes excellence from its competitors.

Among 86 NCAA Division I women’s rowing programs, Ohio State was selected to its 11th-consecutive championships as a team and 12th overall last Tuesday.  Among a 16-field contingent, the Buckeyes finished eighth at Cooper River Park in Cherry Hill, N.J., in 2009.

With its 11th-straight appearance at the national championships, Ohio State is only the fifth program in the nation to achieve such a feat, joining Brown, California, Princeton and Washington for most consecutive trips to the national championships as a team.

Although Ohio State traditionally sends a total of six crews out on the water during the regular season (First and Second Varsity Eights, First and Second Varsity Fours and First and Second Novice Eights), only three boats are eligible
to compete in the NCAA championships. The First Varsity Eight, Second Varsity Eight and First Varsity Four are the designated NCAA crews that can accrue points throughout the championships.

Day One – Preliminary Heats and Repechages
Day Two – Semifinals
Day Three – Grand Finals (places 1-6), Petite Finals (places 7-12)
and Third Level Races (places 13-16)

The Buckeyes finished a program best third at the 2007 NCAA championships in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The First Varsity Eight also finished second overall. The Second Varsity Eight placed second at the 2008 championships in Rancho Cordova, Calif., and the First Varsity Four received a third-place finish at the 2006 championships in West Windsor, N.J.

Highlights of the Divisions I, II and III Women’s Rowing Championships will appear on the 2010 CBS Sports Presents Championships of the NCAA (spring seasonal show), set to air at 4 p.m. ET June 19 on CBS.

Compiling 49 team points, Ohio State finished eighth at the 2009 NCAA Championships May 31 at Cooper River Park in Cherry Hill, N.J. At the conclusion of the three-day event, the Buckeyes were paced by the First Varsity Four’s first-place finish in the Petite Final for the second-consecutive year. 

Finishing seventh overall, the First Varsity Four took an early and commanding lead it would not relinquish. Finishing the first 500 meters in 1:47.02, the Buckeye crew of Anniken Ellingsen, Ellen Heister, Claudia Schiwy, Farrah Edwards and coxswain Kristin DiJosie maintained at least a two-second lead over Brown through the 1,000 and 1,500 meter stretches. Ohio State sounded the horn in 7:27.14, while Brown followed in 7:28.10. Washington rounded out the Top 3, finishing in 7:30.68.

Lindsey Titus, Katie Flarida, Claudia Wurzel, Tess Prescott, Erin Shropshire, Caroline McPherson, Ingrid Aasaaren, Sara Wallace and coxswain Samantha Getz, who make up the Buckeye 2V8, finished second in the Petite Final and eighth overall. The crew finished the first 500 meters in third place, but overcame the USC boat at the 1,000-meter mark to move into second place. Runner-up is how Ohio State (6:42.85) would finish, 5.02 seconds behind heat winner Michigan State (6:37.83). The Trojans clocked in at 6:46.19 for third place.

The 14th-ranked 1V8 – Claudia Herpertz, Ulrike Denker, Johnna Burns, Zuza Trzcinska, Peta-Leigh Dakyns, Carolin Helmholz, Susi Herbrand, Charlott Goldstein and coxswain Erika Benford – finished fourth in the Petite Final and 10th overall in a time of 6:23.39, just .02 seconds off third-place finisher USC (6:23.37). No. 7 Michigan State won the race in a time of 6:19.05, while No. 5 Michigan was second (6:19.09).

Buckeye senior Charlott Goldstein was selected a First Team All-Big Ten honoree. It is the second All-Big Ten award for Goldstein as she was a second-team recipient last season. Senior Sara Wallace and sophomore Claudia Herpertz earned Second Team All-Big Ten laurels following the Big Ten championships May 1 in Laingsburg, Mich.

Ohio State has consistently faced some of the toughest teams in the country 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. The Buckeyes raced No. 8 Michigan State and No. 11 Michigan for the third consecutive time in the Big Ten Championships May 1.

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

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.

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.”

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.