Columbus, Ohio - The No. 2 ranked Ohio State women's rowing team will open up its season on Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich., at Belleville Lake against No. 9 Yale and Harvard (RV). The Buckeyes will race against Yale in the first session and follow it up with races against Harvard for the second portion of the regatta. Follow us on Twitter @OhioState_WROW for live updates.
Preseason No. 2
The Buckeyes enter the season ranked second in the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association preseason poll. Ohio State returns 23 letterwinners from 2016's runner-up squad at the NCAA Championships. Ohio State has a plethora of championship experience coming back with 15 of the 23 rowers from the 2016 NCAA Championships scheduled to compete this season. The Buckeyes have won a conference record four-straight championships dating back to 2013.
First Varsity Eight Dominance
In the past three seasons, the varsity eight is 129-2 overall and 39-2 in head-to-head races. In 2016, the varsity eight won its third-consecutive NCAA Championship; it became the first team to do so in NCAA history. With three overall varsity eight NCAA Championships, Ohio State trails only Washington, who has four varsity eight titles. Five of the eight athletes return to the team this season, searching for a fourth gold medal.
The Buckeyes were busy this past summer, with five rowers competing at the U-23 Rowing Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and one rower competing at the Rio Olympics. Aina Cid Centelles represented Spain at the Olympics in the women's pair event. Cid Centelles and her partner, Anna Boada Peiro, made it to the finals and placed sixth in the event.
At U-23's, Daphne Socha, Cassandra Johnson, Rachel Engel, Stephanie Williams and Laura Monteso Esmel all competed for their countries. Socha represented France in the quad sculls and won bronze. Johnson competed in the 8+ for the U.S. against fellow teammates Engel and Williams, who both rowed for Australia. Johnson and the U.S. won gold with a time of 6:36.90 and the Aussies came in fifth. Monteso Esmel competed for Spain in the lightweight skull pair.
Scouting Harvard and Yale
In 2016, Harvard finished fourth at the Ivy League Championships behind No. 6 Brown, No. 7 Princeton and No. 11 Yale. Harvard narrowly missed qualifying for the NCAA championships. Yale finished 11th at last year's NCAA Championships with 70 team points. Their varsity four finished first in the petite final and seventh overall at the NCAA Championships.