Upper St. Clair grad Lazur helps Ohio State to NCAA rowing title
By Chris Adamski
Published: Friday, June 7, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
As recently as less than six years ago as a high school freshman, Victoria Lazur had never heard of the sport of rowing.
As Lazur was making her college decision less than two years back, Ohio State wasn't necessarily initially her top choice.
If electing to pursue rowing isn't one of the best things to happen to the Upper St. Clair native, choosing to become a Buckeye was.
“Ohio State was a very spur-of-the-moment decision,” Lazur said. “But it was one of the best decisions I ever made.”
It helped make Lazur — and her Buckeyes — national champions.
Lazur served as coxswain on Ohio State's top boat as a sophomore. Her season was capped when the Buckeyes women's rowing team claimed the NCAA national championship this past weekend at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis.
“That was awesome,” Lazur said. “It was everything we worked for for the last two years, so it was really cool it finally happened.”
The NCAA championship was not only the first for his program, it's the first for any Big Ten rowing program and the first for any women's athletic program at Ohio State.
“A whole bunch of firsts,” Ohio State coach Andy Teitelbaum said. “A whole lot of history got made (Sunday).”
The boat Lazur was on, the first varsity eight, placed third at the NCAA team championships with a time of 6 minutes, 23.19 seconds. The Buckeyes' second varsity eight and first varsity four both won their races, but the first varsity eight is the final competition — and the one most weighted when it comes to determining a champion.
“You see the first two boats come down, and you're excited and saying, ‘OK, we're in pretty good shape,' ” Lazur said. “But we knew we had to finish at least in the top three to win, so there's a lot of pressure to kind of make sure you do that.”
The coxswain sits in the last seat of the boat and is the only one facing forward. She is the primary communicator to the rest of the boat, akin the captain of the small “ship.”
“You need to be very smart,” Teitelbaum said. “And you need to be a good leader.”
Part of a strong recruiting class of coxswains, Lazur was on the second varsity eight throughout her freshman year.
Her high school career quickly took off after attending an Upper St. Clair practice one day on something of a whim after a suggestion from her parents.
At 5-foot-2, her size made her well-fit to be a coxswain. As her coaches and teammates soon found out, so did her intelligence and leadership skills. Among Lazur's accomplishments in high school were captaining a crew to a first-place finish in the women's junior varsity four at the Mercyhurst Prep Invitational in 2010 and finishing first in a women's coxswains race at the Pittsburgh Indoor Rowing Championship later that year.
“More than anything with Tori, early on we identified her energy and emotion,” Teitelbaum said. “She's worked well with the rest of the team, and we've taken advantage of that.”
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.