Novice Women's Rowing


FAQ Meet Former Novices Contact Coaches Meeting Times


Got Grit? Be a rower.

We are looking for resilient women to join our legacy of champions.

If you are interested in joining the team please fill out our Prospective Student-Athlete Questionnaire:


Click Here To Fill Out Prospective Student-AthleteQuestionnaire

We want to give you the opportunity to learn how to be excellent.

2017 Informational Meetings:
August 20, 8 p.m. - Traditions Room in the Union
August 21, 8 p.m. - Football Recruiting Room - Ohio Stadium
August 22, 8 p.m. - Football Recruiting Room - Ohio Stadium


Frequently Asked Questions: - (return to top)

Do I need experience?
NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! A novice rower is an athlete in their first year of collegiate competition. At Ohio State we design a program that will teach you everything you need to know to transition to the varsity squad your second year. 90% of our novice team has no previous rowing experience. On the 2016 NCAA team (that placed 2nd in the nation) 12 of 25 athletes started on the novice team. You bring the grit, we will give you the training.

Is this a club?
We are a NCAA Division I team that competes in the Big 10 Conference. The designation of "novice rower" is only used within the squad to describe first year rowers. To the athletic department and the rest of the university you are a varsity athlete with all the privileges and responsibilities that status accords. Ohio State does have a club team that operates as a separate entity.

What about my class schedule?
We understand that you didn't come to Ohio State this fall planning on being a member of Buckeye athletics. For this reason we work around your current class schedule. As a varsity athlete, you will have priority scheduling for the spring semester and beyond which makes it easy to accommodate both classes and rowing.

What is practice like?
In the fall we practice 5-6 days a week for about 90 minutes. Practices are held at St. John Arena. Fall practices start the first week of class. You choose one session per day: 7:30-9am or 5:15-7:00pm.

We start with the basics – technique on the erg (indoor rowing machine) and functional movement/strength. From there we progress to rowing on the water while always expanding your cardio base and core strength. We use our winter season to get fit - consisting of running, erging and strength training. As soon as the weather allows we will be back out on the water. Each day we build on the day before (physically, mentally and technically) to be as prepared and fit as possible when we race at the Big 10 Championship in May.

When are tryouts?
The first step to becoming a varsity athlete is the informational meeting on August 22nd or 24th. The first 40 days of the fall is consider a tryout period. It is an opportunity for you to try a new sport and see if it is something that you are interested in pursuing.

What can I do now to help me prepare for my first fall as a rower?
The best thing that you can do to prepare for your first year as a rower is to be active. There are many sports and physical activities that can grow your aerobic base, and the fitter you start the faster we will be for the Big Ten Championship.

What is a coxswain?
The coxswain is an essential part of our team as they are responsible for steering the boat, communicating with the coaches and coordinating the power and rhythm of the rowers. There is only one coxswain in each boat. A typical coxswain is 5’5” or shorter and weighs around 110lbs. We look for athletes that have clear communication skills and a desire to be a leader.

What type of athlete are you looking for?
Someone with a combination of the following:

  • Grit – the willingness to work hard every day to be better.
  • Resiliency
  • Athletic Background
  • Team player
  • Height (5’8” or taller or tough enough to make up the difference)
  • Competitiveness
  • Desire to win
  • Love for being a Buckeye!

What about my grades?
We know that you have come to Ohio State to be a student first. Throughout the year we gradually build on the time demands of being a varsity athlete to give you the opportunity to adjust. The 2017 team had 46 rowers who earned student scholar athlete honors in a wide variety of majors. As a varsity athlete you have access to academic support throughout the year.

How fast are we?
Ohio State women's rowing has won 3 of the last 4 National Championships. We made history in 2015 as the first rowing team to ever win three consecutive National Championships. We have been to the past 18 NCAA championships and won 8 Big Ten Championships. You can be a part of the legacy of champions. As a Buckeye you will race with and against the best.

NOT SURE? Try out! You never know if you don’t try. Rowing is one of the few sports that you can learn in college and have an opportunity to compete at the highest level. Many of our rowers have gone one to represent their countries on the international level and compete in the Olympics.

As an Ohio State Rower, you will:

  • be a part of something amazing.
  • be your best self.
  • learn how to endure, push yourself and accomplish your goals.
  • learn life skills that you can’t learn anywhere else.
  • meet amazing people.

If you have time over the summer you can register with the NCAA eligibility center. Getting this done in advance can save some time later in the year, but you don't have to do it before you try the sport.


Meet Former Novices: - (return to top)

When I was in high school considering colleges, I never thought I'd become a varisty athlete at Ohio State Univeristy. When I joined the novice team, it was because it seemed fun and exciting, and I figured I'd meet a lot of people (which is a big deal because it was my first year here). It never seemed intimidating, and that's because you and your novice team go through it together. And of course, you end up making lasting friends that you'll have forever (which was my main goal) and you end up with stories to tell your grandchildren about the time when you competed in the National Championships. Novice rowing has left me with a great deal of confidence, strength, and courage, because you find out that you can do things other people cannot do. You also find out what you are made of, and that is something no one can take from you.
Patricia Goodeman
Senior, Business Economics
I wanted to be involved in something that I could be proud of. As a student and an athlete, I can be a bigger part and give more back to the university. With a positive attitude and perseverance, I went out and tried to learn something new everyday. Rowing has enhanced my college experience by giving me the opportunity to train with elite athletes in a program ranked among the best in the country. My best friends are my teammates and together we laugh, train, race, and win championships.

Jess Shepherd served as team co-captain in 2006-07 and concluded rowing this year. She will finish her degree in Biology and is pursuing admission into the dentistry school.
Jess Shepherd
Senior, Biology

When deciding whether or not to row as a member of the varsity team there are a lot of things to consider. I couldn't pass up an opportunity to represent Ohio State in a sport with women that were incredibly motivated and amazingly fun. I came to the realization that rowing was not an obligation but an opportunity. By taking the opportunity I have had so many great experiences including academic support from athletic advisors, being a Big Ten Champion, finishing 3rd at NCAA National Championships, and becoming a varsity letter winner, just to name a few and there are going to be so many more memorable times. I highly encourage anyone considering to row to take the risk and test yourself to see what you can become.
Mary Sheehan
Senior, Medical Dietetics

Some of the best advice I got when I moved on campus was to get involved. As an incoming freshman Ohio State looks so big and can be intimidating. On move in day I had multiple girls come up to me and tell me I should join the rowing team, so I took their advice and got involved by joining the novice team. This was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made, I met so many neat people from all over the country and the world, and I made friendships that will last forever. Rowing on the novice team is a cool experience because they teach you how to do something you may have never done before. I always told my self, "If I pass this opportunity up now, when will I get another chance to try?" So I took the opportunity and ran with it and have loved it ever since.
Katie Flarida
Sophomore, Education

I first joined the Novice team my sophomore year at Ohio State. My freshman year I was approached by novice coaches and asked to join the team, but I was reluctant because I wasn't sure I would be able to juggle school and sports. After completing my freshman year as a "normal" student, I realized that I missed being a part of a team and competing, having played sports my whole life. Luckily, I was asked again to join the team, so I decided to give it a shot. Joining the team was one of the best decisions of my life. Having the opportunity to represent THE Ohio State University both academically and athletically is indescribable. It is one of the greatest honors. The people you meet, coaches and other teammates, are awesome. Being around them all the time allows you to get to know one another and build friendships that last forever. Rowing has given me the opportunity to challenge myself, compete for Ohio State, and make friends and memories that I know will be with me forever.
Sara Wallace
Junior, Exercise Science


Contact Coaches: - (return to top)

Women's Rowing
215A St John Arena, 410 Woody Hayes Dr
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: 292-5052
Fax: 292-5668
Anna Goodale Novice Coach 292-7050 If you are interested in rowing or have
further questions please email Anna Goodale