Lazur helps OSU row to national title

Published Jun 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm (Updated Jun 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm)

Victoria Lazur of Upper St. Clair helped Ohio State University win its second consecutive NCAA rowing championship. The top-ranked Buckeyes retained their title by totaling 126 points after claiming individual national titles in the first and second varsity eights and a seventh-place showing in the first varsity four during the finals held at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis.

California finished second (118) while Brown (116) earned the bronze. Stanford and Virginia rounded out the top five teams.

Lazur piloted the first varsity eight to victory. The 5-4 junior coxswain steered the team of Aina Cid Centelles, Elodie Ravera, Eelkje Miedema, Ashley Bauer, Stephanie Williams, Catherine Shields, Holly Norton and Claire-Louise Bode to the finish line first in 6:44.48, a length ahead of second-place Brown (6:48.47) and third-place California (6:48.51).

The win capped a perfect season for Lazur’s boat as the crew finished 12-0. The group became the second consecutive Buckeye team to finish the season with an undefeated slate.

Meanwhile, the Buckeyes now have seven top-five finishes at the NCAA championships and became the fifth team overall to win consecutive national titles, but the first since Brown achieved the feat in 2007-08.

With gold medals in the eights, Ohio State now holds five individual national titles, the fourth-highest total in NCAA rowing history. The Buckeyes became the fourth team in NCAA history to win both events at the national regatta in the same year.

Since her freshman year, Lazur has coxed a Varsity boat, leading the 2v8 to an undefeated season in 2013-14.

The three-year OSU Scholar-Athlete is currently in Berkeley competing for a spot on the U.S. Under-23 national team that will compete at the World Rowing Championships in late July in Varese, Italy.

Lazur began her rowing career in high school as the coxswain at USC. She captained her crew to first-place finishes in Women’s Junior Varsity Four at the Mercyhurst Prep Invitational Regatta and in the Women’s Coxswains Race at Pittsburgh Indoor Rowing Championships. She even guided the men’s junior varsity four to victory at the Mercyhurst Prep Invitational. Plus, Lazur also ran cross country in high school.

The daughter of Mark and Maria Lazur is majoring in public affairs with minors in French and economics. As education policy is ‘incredibly important’ to her, Lazur is an active member of Undergraduate Student Government, serving as a Deputy Director of Academic Affairs. She is also a Student research assistant at OSU’s Center for Higher Education Enterprise.

Lazur, who has two siblings, Nicholas and Zachary, has already been granted admission to OSU’s John Glenn School of Public Affairs Master of Public Administration program.

Zatawski stars

Helena Zatawski of Upper St. Clair completed her first year of rowing at Bucknell University. The Almanac’s 2013 crew MVP took a seat in the second varsity 8 boat, which was the team’s top shell.

The Bison captured gold in the Murphy Cup as well as first place for the first time in the Aberdeen Dad Vail, the largest collegiate regatta in the country. Additionally, Zatawski helped the team secure silver medals in the Knecht Cup, which featured over 70 competing schools, and the Patriot League Championships.

The daughter of Ken and Corinne Zatawski served as captain of the Upper St. Clair High School rowing team her senior year. In addition to rowing, she ran cross country for the Panthers.

An Olympic hopeful, Zatawski is majoring in neuroscience at Bucknell. “Bucknell is the perfect combination of athletics and academics,” said Zatawski, a rising sophomore. “[The school] allos me to be successful in both rowing and my studies.”

USC rowing

The Upper St. Clair High School rowing team earned five medals during the Pittsburgh Scholastic Sprints. Eleven area schools participated in the 1,500-meter race conducted on the Allegheny River.

The men’s junior varsity four boat secured a silver medal. Steve Wagner, Ajinkya Rai, Jacob Stout and Brendan Boettger comprised the team, which included Tyler Clark as coxswain.

The women’s and men’s varsity fours along with the women’s junior varsity eights and the men’s novice freshman eights all brought home bronze medals.

Kyle Austin, Brendan O’Keeffe, Aditya Thakur, John Benhart and coxswain Bobby Criss filled the men’s varsity boat.

Abby Elias, Abby Zadrozny, Susan Turan, Lexi Heinz, Sonja Kretschmar, Irina Huey, Grace Burton and coxswain Shivani Patel made up the women’s JV squad. Elias, Huey, Kretschmar and Burton along with Patel steered the women’s varsity boat.

Ben Devlin, Criss, Steve Wagner, Rai, Jake Stout, Boettger, John Benhart, Kevin Monpara and Clark completed the novice ship.

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