COLUMBUS, Ohio It will be about a week before the First Varsity Eight of the Ohio State rowing team takes its No. 12 preseason ranking to the West Coast for the Pac-10 Challenge presented by Windermere. The 1V8, who earned 221 points, and the Buckeyes will begin their 2009 campaign March 28-29 in Redwood City, Calif.

The only other Big Ten Conference program to earn a better placement in the 2009 inaugural poll that is presented by USRowing and the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association was Michigan State with 327 points.

It appears the Spartans are the team to beat in the league as they are the reigning Big Ten champions. The Scarlet and Gray finished the 2008 edition of the Big Ten championships in third place.

Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota are the remaining Big Ten programs to crack the Top 20 with 14th, 15th and 19th-place standings, respectively.

Ohio State will host four regattas this year, including the 2009 Big Ten Championships at Griggs Reservoir on the Scioto River. The Buckeyes’ home schedule will begin April 11 when they welcome Indiana, Notre Dame and Brown to Columbus. The following weekend, they will compete against Oregon State and Washington April 18 before hosting Bucknell April 19.

The Big Ten championships are May 2. All seven conference programs Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin will participate in the 10th-annual event.

The Buckeyes will seek their third league championship on their home course.

USRowing/CRCA Women’s NCAA Division I Varsity Eights
Team (1st-Place Votes) Points

1. Yale (22)  494
2. Brown (1)  425
3. Washington  420
4. Stanford (2)  413
5. California  400
6. Virginia  366
7. Michigan State  327
8. Princeton  321
9. Harvard  314
10. Southern California 280
11. Washington State 255
12. Ohio State  221
13. Clemson  201
14. Wisconsin  174
15. Michigan  165
16. Tennessee  98
17. Boston  93
18. Oregon State  70
19. Minnesota  66
20. Louisville  30
Receiving Votes: Pennsylvania 29, Northeastern 28, Notre Dame 24, Syracuse 14, UCLA 12, Dartmouth College 6, Bucknell  2, Iowa 1, and St. Mary’s College of California 1