COLUMBUS, Ohio All three Ohio State rowing crews advanced to the semifinals of the 2009 NCAA Championships Friday on Cooper River Park in Cherry Hill, N.J.  Top 3 finishes in early morning preliminary action advanced the Buckeye Second Varsity Eight and First Varsity Four, while a late rally by the First Varsity Eight in the repechage propelled it to Saturday morning racing.

Semifinal competition will get underway at 9 a.m. Saturday beginning with the 1V8. The 2V8 races will commence at 9:30 a.m., followed by 1V4 action at 10 a.m. The Top 3 finishers in each semifinal heat Saturday will then qualify for the Grand Final races Sunday, while teams finishing 4-6 will compete in the Petite Finals.

After its fifth-place finish in preliminary action, the 1V8 competed in the late-afternoon repechage, where the crew rallied for a win and a spot in the semifinals. The Buckeyes Claudia Herpertz, Ulrike Denker, Johnna Burns, Zuza Trzcinska, Peta-Leigh Dakyns, Carolin Helmholz, Susi Herbrand, Charlott Goldstein and coxswain Erika Benford clocked in at 6:21.00, beating second-place finisher Michigan by just .27 seconds (6:21.27). Joining the Buckeyes and Wolverines in the semifinals from the repechage heat is USC, which finished in 6:21.42. In the dramatic win, Ohio State finished the first 500 meters in fifth place, but soon picked up the pace, moving to third by the 1,000 and 1,500 meter marks. Heading into the final 500 meters, the Buckeyes were off leader Michigan’s time of 4:45.58 by 1.22 seconds. That was when the Scarlet and Gray made the final push, finishing the last 500 meters in 1:34.71 to take the win. 

The First Varsity Eight encountered tough competition in its opening race. Ranked 14th in the CRCA/USRowing poll, Ohio State drew No. 1 Stanford, No. 3 Yale and No. 13 Washington in the heat. The Cardinal won the race in 6:27.60 and the Bulldogs were second with a time of 6:32.30. Rounding out the advancing three were the Huskies (6:34.60). The Crimson joined the Buckeyes (6:42.80) in the repechage after finishing the race in 6:34.80 for fourth.

The Buckeye 2V8 finished third in its preliminary heat in a time of 6:52.27 to move on to the semifinals. The crew of Lindsey Titus, Katie Flarida, Claudia Wurzel, Tess Prescott, Erin Shropshire, Caroline McPherson, Ingrid Aasaaren, Sara Wallace and coxswain Samantha Getz remained in third place throughout the race behind leader Virginia and second-place finisher Washington. The Cavaliers won the heat in a time of 6:43.99, while the Huskies crossed the finish line in 6:48.30. The Buckeyes finished the first 500 meters in 1:38.34. Although the Scarlet and Gray dropped to times of 1:45.18 and 1:45.25 during the 1,000 and 1,500 meter marks, respectively, it was able to speed things up in the final stretch, finishing the last 500 meters in 1:43.50 to hold off a surging Oregon State squad (6:54.55).

The 1V4 held on for a preliminary victory to advance to the semifinals. Anniken Ellingsen, Ellen Heister, Claudia Schiwy, Farrah Edwards and coxswain Kristin DiJosie clipped Clemson by 1.44 seconds. The Buckeyes finished in 7:29.05, while the Tigers sounded the horn in 7:30.49. The Buckeyes held a consistent lead throughout the race. The crew finished the first 500 meters in 1:45.66 before slowing down to 1:53.43 and 1:55.65 at the 1,000 and 1,500 meter points, respectively. Clemson attempted a late rally in the final 500 meters, finishing in 1:54.19, but Ohio State was able to hold them off with its 500-meter time of 1:54.31.

2009 NCAA Rowing Championships
May 29-31
Cooper River Park
Cherry Hill, N.J.

First Varsity Eight
Preliminary Race (Heat 1)
(1-3 to Semifinal) 
Place Team Finish
1. Stanford 6:27.60 
2. Yale 6:32.30 
3. Washington 6:34.60 
4. Harvard 6:34.80 
5. Ohio State 6:42.80

(1-3 to Semifinal)
Place Team  Finish
1. Ohio State 6:21.00

2. Michigan 6:21.27
3. USC  6:21.42
4. Dartmouth 6:25.51
5. Harvard  6:27.10
6. Oregon State 6:28.43
7. Wisconsin 6:28.66

Second Varsity Eight
Preliminary Race (Heat 1)
(1-3 to Semifinal)
Place Team Finish
1. Virginia  6:43.99
2. Washington 6:48.30
3. Ohio State 6:52.27
4. Oregon State 6:54.55
5. Harvard  6:58.62

First Varsity Four
Preliminary Race (Heat 2)
(1-3 to Semifinal)
Place Team Finish  
1. Ohio State 7:29.05
2. Clemson 7:30.49  
3. Wisconsin 7:32.57  
4. USC 7:39.21  
5. Oregon State 7:41.72