June 29, 2021

Six Buckeye Rowers Headed to Tokyo


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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Three alums, one returning student-athlete and two incoming recruits will represent Ohio State in the Tokyo Olympics in the women’s rowing events this July.

Aina Cid Centelles (Spain, lettered at OSU 2014-2017), newcomers Anneta and Maria Kyridou (Greece),

Alessandra Montesano (Italy, 2018-19), who took time off to train for the Olympics and will be returning to the Ohio State roster this year, Ilse Paulis (Netherlands, 2012) and Elodie Ravera (France, 2014) will participate in the Tokyo Olympics for their respective countries.

Kate Sweeney, who just finished her second season coaching the Buckeyes and first with competition after the 2020 season was canceled, looks forward to following the Buckeyes next month.

“To reach this level of competition speaks to the determination and resilience of each of these athletes throughout their careers,” Sweeney said. “We are so proud and eager to watch our current, future and former Buckeyes compete in Tokyo. We look forward to Alessandra rejoining the team and to welcoming Anneta and Maria to our family. Go Bucks!”

Centelles, a three-time OSU Scholar Athlete, was a second team All-Big Ten selection in 2015 and 2017. She also earned CRCA National Scholar Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten accolades those same seasons.

Ohio State earned NCAA Championships in 2014 and 2015, finished second in 2016 and was fifth in 2017.

Montesano was a first team All-Big Ten selection in 2019. The Buckeyes finished No. 6 nationally in 2018 and No. 5 in 2019. She elected to train for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that were delayed to this summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paulis helped the Buckeyes to a fifth-place finish in 2012.

Paulis and her lightweight sculls partner, Maaike Head, were named the Dutch Team of the Year on Dec. 29, 2016, at the Dutch Sports Federation’s year-end gala.

Paulis and Head won gold in the women’s lightweight double sculls at the 2016 Rio Olympics. A 2012 All-Big Ten Second Team honoree in her lone season as a Buckeye, Paulis was a member of the First Varsity Eight that took second place at the Big Ten Championships. Paulis is a budding star in the sport of rowing having already captured an Olympic gold, and in 2014 at the U23 World Rowing Championships, she won gold in the lightweight single sculls.

Ravera was an OSU Scholar Athlete in 2014 when the Buckeyes were crowned NCAA Champions in Indianapolis.

Montesano and the group of alums own five Big Ten Championships (2014, 15, 16, 17, 18) and a pair of second place finishes (2012, 19).

The Olympic rowing events will be held from July 23-30 at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo.

Ohio State finished in the No. 6 spot at the NCAA Championships this year. The team also performed well academically with 64 athletes named Academic All-Big Ten and 65 earning OSU Scholar Athlete honors in 2021.

Individually, graduate students Grace Libben (Woody & Anne Hayes Award) and Olivia Kwiecinski (John Dana Cole Award) were recognized for their efforts in the classroom.

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