Columbus, Ohio – For many college students, college is the time to try new experiences and to discover passions. Ida Kruse, a third year on the Ohio State women’s rowing team, is no exception. Coming all the way from her hometown of Munster, Germany, Kruse has been able to use her time and skill as a rower at Ohio State to travel to new places and participate in unique experiences. While a member of the OSU rowing team, Kruse has achieved many feats, such as 2017 Big Ten Rowing Athlete of the Year and earning Pocock First Team All-America honors, as well as earning the bronze medal at the U-23 World Championships. However, these achievements were something that Kruse never even considered attainable before coming to Ohio State.
As a child in Munster, Kruse loved being outside, as well as participating in sports. “When I was really little, I played a lot outside with my friends and siblings,” recalled Kruse. “When I went to school, I started playing volleyball for a couple of years. At some point when I was older, I started rowing.”
Because of her parents, who were both rowers as well, Kruse had an early start compared to most rowers, starting to row around age eight or nine. She soon discovered the potential she had in rowing, but was still active in other areas. “Volleyball was more of the focus at that time,” said Kruse.
It wasn’t until she was contacted by Ohio State and other universities in America that Kruse realized varsity rowing with a college education in the United States was a possibility for her.
“I didn’t really think about it when I was younger”, observed Kruse while reflecting on her childhood. “It really just came up after a couple of universities had talked to me about it. I didn’t realize that it was something that I could do.”
When deciding which program to join, Kruse was eventually convinced by the coaches and the prestige of the OSU program.
“I was recruited by a coach who showed me how awesome the program was, and how they had already won two national championships. She gave me some videos of the team to watch, and I knew I wanted to be a Buckeye.”
Since coming to Ohio State, Kruse has had a very successful first two years on the women’s rowing team. Other than earning multiple individual awards, Kruse has helped the OSU women’s rowing team win its fourth and fifth straight B1G Championships, as well as place fifth at the NCAA Championships this past May. When asked about what it means to have such success in her first two years, Kruse expressed appreciation and admiration for past winners before her.
“It means a lot to me, because all of these people that have been named Big Ten rowers have been really great athletes. They’re people that I want to be like and people that I look up to.”
Kruse has also enjoyed all of the travelling opportunities that she has had thanks to rowing. “I’ve been to St. Petersburg in Russia, which was really awesome,” answered Kruse when asked about a favorite rowing site. “I’ve also been able to travel so much more in America thanks to rowing as well.”
Despite all these past achievements and results, Kruse and her team refuse to let up during the offseason. “Right now we are practicing a lot on the water, as well as on the ergs,” said Kruse. “We’re building up the base currently.”
Asked about future goals and possibly representing her native country of Germany in the Olympics, Kruse was up for the challenge.
“It’s definitely a dream,” replied Kruse. “I don’t know if I can do it, but I am definitely going to work for it. This was the first year I actually competed at world championships. I just loved the atmosphere and competing for my country.”
If past results and achievements can give any indication, it seems as though Ida Kruse is on the right track.