May 10, 2001

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Seeded Teams in the Central Region

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 8 Ohio State women’s rowing team competes at the Lexus Central Regional Championships, hosted by the University of Tennessee in Oak Ridge, Tenn., Saturday and Sunday. Big Ten rival Michigan is the top seed in the event with the Buckeyes coming in as the No. 2 seed.

Probable Starting Lineups First Varsity Eight stroke Maxi Meissner 7 Susi Wesenberg 6 Sasha Kildelund 5 Conny Kirsch 4 Karla Fiserova 3 Natalie Legge 2 Katie Buttine Bow Sisse Johansen Cox Susie Caldwell

Second Varsity Eight stroke Elizabeth Hellickson 7 Jenni Grubb 6 Heather Feldmann 5 Jill Davis 4 Alex Leslie 3 Mindy Stauffer 2 Samantha Bomkamp Bow Angela Wendel Cox Ashley Orr

First Varsity Four Stroke Meghan McCartney 3 Heather Arndts 2 Erin Stagney Bow Margot Schumway Cox Marlana Stange

OSU is ranked No. 8 nationally in the May 9 USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association NCAA Division I Varsity Eight Coaches Poll, dropping two spots from a program record No. 7 ranking in the first poll of the season. USRowing, in conjunction with the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) has conducted weekly polls for Women’s NCAA Division I Collegiate Varsity Eights throughout the season. Head coach Andy Teitelbaum said the ranking reflected what his team has done this season.

“We have had some strong performances, which kept us in the Top 10,” he said. “At the same time, we had some showings where I know we could have been stronger, which is why I think we dropped from the No. 7 slot.”

The Buckeyes finished second at the Big Ten Tournament April 28. Andy Teitelbaum said his squad has been working to improve on that performance at the regional competition this weekend.

“We are the No. 2 seed in the region and No. 2 team in the region,” Teitelbaum said. “For us, it is an enormously important regatta because up until now, while we have gotten ourselves in very good position regionally and nationally, if we don’t perform well, there is a chance the selection committee for the national championship might decide to go elsewhere.

“We are looking to finish off what has been a great season and get ourselves into the national championship by at least defending our seed. We also are looking to avenge the loss to Michigan and see if we can’t knock off the No. 1 seed as well.

“We had a good conference championship and a good 10 days of practice,” Teitelbaum said. “We are heading into this event with the hopes of doing the best that we can and making sure we are able to stay where we have been or move up regionally and nationally.”

The Buckeyes finished less than three seconds behind Michigan at the Big Ten Tournament in the varsity eight race.

Teitelbaum said his squad has proven its abilities in that event.

“Particularly in the varsity eight, we showed we can race down the course with Michigan,” Teitelbaum said. “I am sure they have gotten faster since the conference championship and we have worked to do the same.

“We have worked very hard to get all the championship boats (the varsity eight, second varsity and the varsity four) more speed to see if we can’t beat the top seed in the region or at least defend the No. 2 seed while also getting the speed we are going to need at the NCAA Tournament.”

The NCAA Championship Regatta will be held May 24-27 at Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Ga.

The tournament field will consist of 10 teams, all selected at-large by the seven-member Women’s Rowing Committee. In addition, nine eight-woman boats from institutions not represented in the team competition will be selected. The championship provides for three events (I Eights, II Eights, Fours), each covering a 2,000-meter course, and a total of 311 competitors.

The selection date for the NCAA Tournament is May 15. Brown won the 2000 championship. Ohio State finished 9th.

The Ohio State women’s rowing team finished second at the Big Ten Conference Championships, held Saturday on Belleville Lake, the home lake of the University of Michigan, host of the championships.

The Buckeyes finished with 43 points, 13 behind Michigan, who won its second-consecutive conference crown. Michigan State finished third (36) followed by Wisconsin (36), Iowa (32), Minnesota (18) and Indiana (16). Michigan State took third based on its higher first varsity eight finish.

The Buckeyes placed a pair of rowers on the All-Big Ten First Team and another couple on the second team. Maxi Meissner (So., Schoenow, Germany) and Conny Kirsch (Jr., Potsdam, Germany) made the first team while Sasha Kildelund (Fr., Nyborg, Denmark) and Susi Wesenberg (Fr., Rostock, Germany) each made the All-Big Ten Second Team.

Teitelbaum said this season has been split into two halves for his squad, with both successes and failures he didn’t expect.

“We’ve had ups and downs,” he said. “We’re ranked ninth again (after moving up to seventh). We’ve beaten a lot of schools. We’ve also been beaten by a handful of strong programs by bigger margins than we expected, given the caliber of athletes we have in the boat. There have been two sides to the season. I think we definitely have more. I think we can be closer to the top, given the athletes we have. It’s just a matter of being able to get everything out of them before the season is over.”

One of the major factors that has led to an inconsistent season is the youth of his squad, Teitelbaum said. In the first varsity eight boat, there are five freshman and no seniors.

“One of the things that has showed up is our youth,” Teitelbaum said. “With five freshman and no seniors in the first boat, I think the understanding of the emotional intensity that you have to bring in collegiate racing, even with all the world-class experience we have in the shell, is just starting to come around.

“College racing in the United States is an extremely powerful, extremely emotional experience. These kids are learning. They’re incredibly talented. They have fantastic credentials, but I think their eyes have been opened. Hopefully, it’s a lesson they learn before they are sophomores.”