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Upper St. Clair native helps Ohio State rowing to national title

| Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Upper St. Clair native Victoria Lazur won a second straight national title with Ohio State's rowing team.
Tom Walsh | Ohio State athletics
Upper St. Clair native Victoria Lazur won a second straight national title with Ohio State's rowing team.
Ohio State's Victoria Lazur
Tom Walsh | Ohio State athletics
Ohio State's Victoria Lazur

After helping the Ohio State University women's rowing team to its second straight NCAA title, Victoria Lazur of Upper St. Clair has shifted her focus to a larger stage.

Lazur, a 5-foot-4 junior coxswain, was named to the Women's U23 National Team Selection Camp that will determine who will represent America at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships, to be held July 23-27 in Varese, Italy, near Milan.

Lazur, 21, is spending this month at the University of California-Berkeley, where she is vying for a spot on one of three boats (women's eight, women's four and women's quadruple skulls), USRowing spokeswoman Allison Frederick said.

The camp will move to Princeton for several days before the team is announced July 11.

“It's been neat with (coxswains and rowers in) one place to learn different styles and about different team cultures,” Lazur said.

Coach Laurel Korholz said Lazur is among three coxswains fighting for a position on the team, all from top-ranked college programs. Lazur was invited to the camp based on a strong recommendation from Ohio State coach Andy Teitelbaum, who expects the experience to help her next season.

“She'll get water time with very talented athletes and work with different coaches than she is used to,” Teitelbaum said. “She will be a better leader and develop a better sense for the way the boat is moving (and) what she can have the crew focus on (to) improve its run.”

Lazur was on the winning First Varsity Eight that secured first place for the Buckeyes at the NCAA championships (6 minutes, 44.48 seconds) in Indianapolis from May 30 to June 1. The boat, which finished a length ahead of second-place Brown (6:48.47) and third-place California (6:48.51), capped a perfect season (12-0).

Lazur earned a bronze medal on the same boat a year ago (6.23.19).

Second Varsity Eight, steered by Lazur, was second in the NCAA (6:38.94) in 2012.

Ohio State, which won the last two years, has been Big Ten champion three of the past four years.

“Victoria has been on a lot of successful crews,” Teitelbaum said. “It's quite a resume for a coxswain who still has a year of eligibility left.”

Lazur, who was named All-America by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association, said her chief goal is to repeat as NCAA team champion next season.

She was one of two area women who excelled for the Buckeyes this year. Megan Mahoney, a 5-4 freshman from Seton-La Salle, was coxswain for Third Varsity Four that took first place at the Big Ten championships (7:34.95) in Indianapolis last month.

Teitelbaum said Mahoney has much promise.

“She shows good awareness and decision making,” he said.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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