COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State rowing team will travel to Redwood City, Calif., to race in the Windermere Collegiate Classic Saturday – Sunday to open its 2008 season. Stanford will serve as host of the event, with competitions beginning at 9 a.m. both days.

Athletes will compete in Henley style racing, a one-on-one or two boat race used for competition at the famous Henley Royal Regatta in Henley-on-Thames, England.

Ohio State raced in the Windermere Real Estate Collegiate Classic in 2003 and 2006.

Windermere Real Estate Collegiate Classic
This year Ohio State will be racing the First Varsity Eight and Second Varsity Eight boats. The invitational will last two days and is open to the public. Both men’s and women’s teams from the nation’s top programs will participate in the classic which has been sponsored by Windermere Real Estate since 2003. Other top teams participating in the regatta are Virginia, Notre Dame, Stanford, California and UCLA.

2008 Rowing Outlook
After the 2007 Ohio State rowing team experienced arguably one of its most memorable seasons in the history of the program, the question remains, “Where do we go from here?” It is quite simple for head coach Andy Teitelbaum, assistants Diana Albrecht and Bethia Woolf and the 2008 Buckeyes. Last season’s squad hit its stride during the championship season and won its fifth-consecutive Central Region title and followed that performance with a third-place finish at the NCAA championships, the best standing in OSU history. The 2007 campaign was impressive, but the key to the current team’s success will lie on its ability to utilize a talent Teitelbaum feels may be unmatched by past programs.

“On paper, we are as good and deeper than we were a year ago, but races aren’t raced on paper.” Teitelbaum said. “A lot of last year’s success was based upon the intangibles. Whether or not our talent this year will match last year’s intangibles is yet to be determined. You have to go back quite a bit to find a team that matches this group talent wise. Still, there are the questions of meeting your potential, but that’s the journey.”

Coaches consistently rely on their top student-athletes to be a guiding light for their teammates and that is where seniors Gabriele Albertaviciute and Patricia Goodeman enter into the Buckeye equation. The duo was instrumental in lifting the First Varsity Eight to an Ohio State all-time high second-place finish in the Grand Final at the NCAA championships last spring.

Albertaviciute’s credentials speak for themselves. She earned First-Team All-America and All-Central Region laurels last season, in addition to becoming a two-time All-Big Ten honoree. Albertaviciute has rowed in the five seat of the First Varsity Eight the past two seasons and Teitelbaum anticipates she will resume her role in that position in 2008.

Goodeman made quite an impact on her Buckeye teammates and coaches last season as she earned the Ohio State Most Improved Rower Award. She has consistently bettered her past performances, earning a spot on the three seat of the First Varsity Eight in 2007 after starting out as a novice and Second Varsity Eight rower during her first two years with the Scarlet and Gray. Goodeman is slated to remain in the middle of the First Varsity Eight or possibly relocate to stern.
“There is a lot of responsibility that comes with being in the middle of the First Varsity Eight in this program,” Teitelbaum said. “They are the real foundation and the other girls on the team look up to them.”

Three other rowers from that record-breaking boat return this season in juniors Susie Herbrand and Zuza Trzcinska and sophomore Claudia Wurzel. Herbrand has rowed for the First Varsity Eight since her arrival to campus, while Trzcinska was promoted to the First Varsity Eight in 2007 as a sophomore following an appearance on the Second Varsity Eight her freshman year. Wurzel too has made significant contributions since coming to Columbus, earning a spot on the First Varsity Eight in her inaugural season as a Buckeye.

“This group provides the core for a top boat,” Teitelbaum said. “They are the ones who have been on the starting line at the Grand Finals of the NCAA championships, matching up against the best crews in the country. That gives them a lot of credibility and respect.”

If Ohio State is going to tap into its tremendous potential, it is also going to have to rely heavily on a group of student-athletes who have the skills that are as good and maybe better than those they are forced to replace.

In addition to the senior leadership from Albertaviciute and Goodeman, the Buckeyes will receive guidance from classmates Andrea Dymalski, Kate Hanseman, Simone Haubner, Ashley Korfel, Lauren Lederer, Jackie Ruetenik and Mary Sheehan. With the exception of Korfel, the remaining five rowed in the Second Varsity Eight last season, while Korfel was a member of the Second Varsity Four.

“The seniors are always providing a sense of urgency since this is their last shot at the goals they have laid out,” Teitelbaum said.
 However, do not be mistaken the only source of leadership for this team will come from the seniors. Much of the management also will come from several in the other three classes.
For example, the OSU coaching staff will seek out the continual improvement from the likes of junior Sara Wallace, along with sophomores Johnna Burns, Katie Flarida and Erin Shropshire. This quartet began the 2007 season on the novice team, but competed their way into the First Varsity Four during the season.
Also, the coaching staff predicts Nora Franzen, a Second Varsity Eight rower last season and transfer Tess Prescott to emerge as top competitors for the Buckeyes.

After redshirting last season because of injury, Charlott Goldstein makes a return, as does Peta-Leigh Dakyns, who missed out on the postseason this past spring with the Second Varsity Eight also because of injury.

“There are a variety of athletes and a variety of experience that comes from the other classes,” Teitelbaum said. “Everyone on the team has the same role to get better everyday. Whatever boat you’re in, whatever seat you’re in, you have to make it go fast. You need to be moving towards being a better rower tomorrow than you were today. Everyone’s role is the same.”

A group of international freshmen with impressive resumes certainly will be deemed ready to compete or contribute their proficiency from the onset as this class has competed on their respective junior, Under-23 or senior national teams. Ingrid Aassaren, an Oslo Norway, native rowed the double at the Junior World Championships in 2006. Also a native of Oslo, Anniken Ellingsen has competed in three World Cups and saw action at the Senior World Championships this past summer in Munich, Germany. Magdeburg, Germany, native Carolin Helmholz was a member of the German Junior and Under-23 National Teams. She was part of a boat that finished first at the 2005 German Championships and won a gold medal in the German Eight at the 2005 Junior World Championships. Rosie Henderson of Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, placed first in the 2005 Senior National Championships with the St. Neots Rowing Club and represented Great Britain at the 2006 Junior World Championships. Fellow United Kingdom native, Caroline McPherson of Edinburgh, competed on the Scottish National Junior Team.  

Herbrand and Sheehan will share the role of captaining the 2008 team. This pair brings subtle, yet important pieces to the puzzle for the Buckeyes and sometimes it is those intangibles that prove to be the most important pieces of all.

“Susie came to us after being an alternate on the German Senior National Team,” Teitelbaum said. “In personality and performance, she is just consistent and even-keeled.” Particularly for the coaches, it’s a really good measurement when we are trying to check the pulse of the team. She really is reliable and I think her teammates would agree.”

Mary is somebody who is an extremely positive and upbeat individual. She has done a lot of work to arrange her academics to return for her final year. There was point, because of her major (medical dietetics) and clinicals that were required, she would not be able to compete. She worked really hard to be able to exhaust her eligibility. I think that comes from her love of the experience she has had and there are certain things she would like to accomplish before she puts her Ohio State oar away.”

Ohio State has a competitive 2008 schedule that includes three regattas at the Scioto River in Columbus.

“Our venue is outstanding and that’s why Southern California and Tennessee travels almost annually to Columbus to race,” Teitelbaum said. “We’ve had Brown come out and we’ve hosted some great events. The word is out. There are a lot of things we do as a department that provides for a really good experience. There are certain things you can’t create and your body water is one of them. But the Scioto is a fantastic place to train and a fantastic place to race and as a result we end up hosting our fair share of events, particularly dual races.”

After opening their 2008 campaign at the Windermere Real Estate Collegiate Classic in Redwood City, Calif., March 29-30, the Buckeyes return home for their trio of events, beginning with races against Virginia and Duke in the ACC/Big Ten Duals April 5. The following week (April 12), the Scarlet and Gray host Southern California and Tennessee and wrap up their homestand with duals against Big Ten Conference opponents Wisconsin and Iowa April 19.

The championship portion of Ohio State’s schedule begins with the Big Ten championships May 3 in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Buckeyes then will seek their sixth-consecutive Central Region title when they travel to Oak Ridge, Tenn., for the Aramark Central/South Region championships May 17-18. Finally, the NCAA championships will take place in Sacramento, Calif., May 30-June 1. 

Buckeyes Help Local Girl Scouts Earn Their Badge
The Ohio State rowing team helped 45 local Girl Scouts earn their “Sport Sampler” badge on Feb. 23. To obtain the badge, the scouts learned about what may be an unfamiliar sport and took part in activities related to rowing.

The scouts were divided into smaller groups and took turns visiting six different stations. They learned about the history of rowing, proper stretch techniques and rowing skills. In addition, the girls received lessons in first aid and were taught Ohio State rowing cheers and were encouraged to invent their own chants.

With the positive feedback of the three-hour function, the Buckeyes are hoping this becomes an annual event.

Kirsch Inducted into OSU Athletics Hall of Fame
Connie Kirsch (1998-2002) is the first rower to be inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame. She helped the Buckeyes to their first Big Ten Championship in 2002. She was part of the First Varsity Eight that won the grand finals and was named Big Ten Co-Rower of the year, a first in program history. The same varsity eight squad took first in the Central Region championship grand final. They finished the season with a then-program best fourth-place finish at NCAA championships.

Kirsch’s individual accomplishments include earning first-team All-America honors in 2002 to contribute to her second-team honors in 2000 and 2001. She also was a three-time first-team All-Big Ten and All-Central Region selection in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Kirsch was an Academic All-Big Ten selection in 2001 and 2002, as well as a three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete.

Ohio State sign Two Rowers to 2008-09 Squad
Ellen Heister of Bristol, Conn., and Ohio native Allison Morlock of Waterville signed National Letters of Intent for the 2008-09 season.

Heister rowed for Miss Porter’s school during the spring season. She is also a swimmer and cross-country runner. She plans to study anthropology at Ohio State.

Morlock spent three years rowing at Anthony Wayne High School. She intends to study history or political science while attending Ohio State.

Buckeyes Compete in Rivanna Romp
The Ohio State rowing squad competed in the Rivanna Romp Nov. 11 in Charlottesville, Va. The Buckeyes raced three varsity eight and three varsity four boats in the event.

Varsity Eight Race
Place (out of 16) Time
4. OSU A          13:52.61
9. OSU B          14:36.95
13.OSU C          14:50.60

Varsity Four Race   
Place (out of 14) Time
5. OSU A          16:12.53
6. OSU B          16:13.16
12.OSU C          17:53.90