One of the Westerville high school club rowing team's most memorable seasons came in 2007 when it had two boats finish among the top six in the US Rowing Youth Nationals and four other boats qualify for the event.

One of the Westerville high school club rowing team's most memorable seasons came in 2007 when it had two boats finish among the top six in the US Rowing Youth Nationals and four other boats qualify for the event.

That season has one thing in common with this one, according to boys coach Matt Chase.

"We've had the warmest winter in the 17 years that I've been the coach, and we were actually able to get our boats in the water the last week of January," Chase said. "The last time we've had a really nice winter like this was in 2007, and that year we took 36 kids to nationals."

Last spring, Westerville's boys lightweight 8 placed fourth (6 minutes, 25.65 seconds) to match the 2008 boys lightweight 8 for the program's highest finish at youth nationals.

Returning from that boat are seniors David Caspers, Danny Just and Jon Weiss, junior Patrick LeCorgne and sophomore Ryan Kesselring. New to the boat are Johannes Axt, Harrison Ellis, Arman Odabas and coxswain Taylor Gainey. Caspers (Delaware), Gainey (Minnesota) and Weiss (Virginia) will row collegiately.

Gainey was the coxswain last year for the boys varsity 4 that was seventh (6:54.82) at youth nationals.

Senior Ben Leonard, who will row for Drexel, is the only returnee from the varsity 4 boat that also is expected to include Brad Luckett, Cody Sarisky, David Sullivan and coxswain Lulu Steurer.

"I always have a strong lightweight program, and this is the strongest lightweight group I've ever had," Chase said. "Most of these guys were on the boat that was fourth in the country, and they're definitely physiologically faster than last year, but it takes a rowing stroke as well."

The girls varsity 8 was 14th (7:12.76) at youth nationals last season and returns senior college recruits Tatiana Lundstrom (Clemson) and Mary Stump (Iowa) as well as senior Boston Shields and junior Jackie Huddle. Also expected to row in the boat are Sarah Goodman, Madelyn Pollack, Mandy Radigan and Meredith Swartz. Senior Nick Villaveces, who will compete for Marietta College, will be the coxswain.

The girls lightweight 8 was 15th (7:39.42) in the nation last season and returns senior Gracie Bachmann, juniors Grace Busick and Delaney West and sophomore Kelsey Michely. Also expected to be in the boat are senior college recruits Katie Schilling (Stetson) and Clarissa Westerman (Marietta), as well as Emma Ferris, Julie Hays and Amelia Sealy. Schilling is the coxswain.

"I'm really excited," girls coach Trish Chase said. "Things are looking pretty good."

Dublin rowing teams out to take steps forward

The Dublin rowing program failed to advance any of its boys or girls boats to youth nationals but returns most of its key competitors from a year ago.

Senior Bailey Irelan, who stroked the first varsity 4 and first varsity 8 boats, and senior Olivia Gugliemotto are the top returnees for the girls team. Irelan will row for Rutgers.

Senior Victoria Langwasser, who competed for Westerville's girls varsity 8 at youth nationals last year, now is rowing for Dublin and is an Ohio State recruit. Also on her way to Ohio State is senior coxswain Sarah Asad.

Seniors Mikaela Duckworth, Emily Rettew and Hailey Tiarks, juniors Tess Cassidy and Maddie Irelan and sophomore Treasa O'Tighearnaigh are others looking to contribute for the girls team.

Last season in the Midwest Junior championships, the girls varsity 8 was sixth (7:16.46), the first varsity 4 was seventh (7:59.87) and the lightweight 4 was fifth (8:20.32).

On April 14 on the Muskingum River in Marietta, the girls team was second (100) behind Marietta (138) and the boys team placed second (94) behind Buffalo (N.Y.) St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute (129), but Dublin won the Lindamood Cup by scoring 194 points overall.

"We had a small group of seniors last year, so we have most of our varsity 8 for the women's team back," coach Gina Crooks said. "We're trying to get to nationals this year in the varsity 8 and varsity 4."

Crooks and her husband, Jared Crooks, are in their fourth seasons as Dublin's coaches.

The boys finished fifth in the lightweight 4 (7:02.22) in the Midwest Junior championships last season and have a deeper roster this spring, according to Jared Crooks.

The top returnees are seniors Spencer Grisvard, Matt Mims and Mac Workman and junior Luke Neuroth.

"This season is the first that I've had two full 8s that I can go out and practice with," Jared Crooks said. "It'll be interesting to see how we do. We've got some guys coming up from novice to varsity this year."

Hilliard rowing team looking to build numbers

New Hilliard rowing coach Jessica Duckro, a 2009 Hilliard Davidson graduate, believes her program is headed in the right direction.

Jackie Ruetenik coached the program last spring then stepped down to devote more time to her wedding photography business. Caitlin Flowers was Hilliard's coach last fall.

"I was an assistant last season and I got promoted to head coach this season," Duckro said. "It's been going well. We have 14 total kids, including two or three who are new this spring and we have boys for the first time, which adds a great dynamic to the team."

Seniors Christine Dong (Hilliard Darby), Mayra Espinoza (Davidson) and Sam Schmucker (Darby), juniors Erin Rose Shaeffer (Davidson) and Sally Zhou (Darby), sophomores Courtney Duke (Hilliard Bradley), Erin Falkenbach (Davidson) and Alicia Ridgeley (Davidson) and freshmen Taylor Bumbledare (Davidson) and Alex Heller (Davidson) are competing for the girls team.

Rowing for the boys team are junior Mitch Schuster (Darby) and sophomores Troy Martin (Darby), Brennan Prevette (Darby) and Bryce Roget (Bradley).

On April 14 on the Muskingum River in Marietta, neither the boys nor the girls scored in the Lindamood Cup. Dublin won the overall title with 194 points.

"We're definitely working on a lot of technique stuff, especially since we're shorter and stronger," Duckro said.