Heavyweight Rowing Welcomes Incoming Class of 2014
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

NEW YORK – Following an impressive 2010 season in which the Columbia heavyweight rowing team won five regular season trophies and placed both the varsity eight and the freshman eight in the Grand Final of the Eastern Sprints, the program welcomes the incoming class of 2014 for the 2010-11 season.

Clemens Auersperg, John Clapp, Ben Coombs, Jerome Genova, Connor Jones, Dan Kolbe, Brent Laurint, Seungki Lee, Matt Lonski, and Danny Neilson have all made commitments to join the Lions this fall.

"The incoming heavyweight class is a very strong group," head heavyweight coach and director of rowing Mike Zimmer said. "This class has speed, depth and most importantly the character and work ethic that will allow them to contribute significantly to the heavyweight rowing program here at Columbia."

With the heavyweight rowing program having so much success, the process of selecting recruits has been rewarding for Zimmer and assistant coach Jon Douglas.  

"This year's incoming class was drawn to the excitement of being a part of Columbia rowing and they want to help the program build on its recent success," Douglas remarked. "Recruits of this caliber have options when it comes to choosing a university and rowing program.  These student-athletes all saw a unique opportunity here at Columbia – to get a world-class education and race with a committed group of guys at the highest level and to do all of that in New York City."

Zimmer goes on to say, "We recruit student-athletes with a passion for racing, the drive to train hard, and the desire for a Columbia education. That is the foundation of Columbia heavyweight rowing.  While we certainly look for speed and power in our recruiting, more importantly, we seek team players who fit with our crew's culture and who will be committed to each other and the Columbia program. We are very proud of the class we have selected and we are confident they will excel here at Columbia." 

Clemens Auersperg, 6-8, 200, Linz, Austria (Akademisches Gymnasium)
Raced for Austria in the coxless pair at the 2008 Junior World Championships ... 2009 junior champion at the Austrian Indoor Rowing Championship ... currently training with the Austrian U23 team.

John Clapp, 6-2, 175, Rockport, Maine (St. Mark's)
Two-time team captain of St. Mark's rowing ... won gold in the junior coxless pair at the 2009 Club National Championship ... varsity cross-country runner and ice hockey player ... Cum Laude Society member.

Ben Coombs, 6-2, 190, Melbourne, Australia (Melbourne Grammar)
Henley Royal Regatta finalist in the Fawley Cup ... won gold in the eight at the 2009 Australian National Schoolboys ... offered a seat in the 2010 Australian Junior National Team coxless four ... won several alpine skiing national titles.

Jerome Genova, 6-0, 170 Massapequa Park, N.Y. (Chaminade)

Member of the Chaminade varsity eight ... won gold at the New York State Championship and silver at Stotesbury in 2009 in the junior eight ... father, Len, played football for Columbia.

Connor Jones, 6-2, 195, Wilmette, Ill. (New Trier)

Captain of the New Trier rowing team ... rowed in the top US Development eight in 2009 ... invited to the selection camp for the 2010 United States Junior National Team.

Daniel Kolbe, 6-0, 190, Orefield, Pa. (The Lawrenceville School)
Three-year first varsity eight rower at Lawrenceville ... stroked varsity four to MAPL league championships in 2009 and 2010 ... won gold at the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Championships qualifying for USRowing Youth Nationals.

Brent Laurint, 6-2, 190, Jacksonville, Fla. (Jacksonville Episcopal)

Two-time Episcopal rowing team captain ... rowed in the top US Development eight in 2009 ... invited to the selection camp for the 2010 United States Junior National Team ... eagle scout.

Seungki Lee, 5-7, 120, Seoul, South Korea (The Lawrenceville School)

Coxswain of the Lawrenceville School rowing team ... captain of the varsity ski team.

Matt Lonski, 6-1, 185, Greenwich, Conn. (Greenwich)
Captain of his rowing team ... awarded the most valuable rower award and coach's award ... won the Columbia Book Award for history.

Danny Neilson, 6-5, 195, Wellesley, Mass. (Wellesley)
Won gold in the CRI coxed four at the Northeast Regionals qualifying for the USRowing Youth Nationals ...won gold in the Boston Rowing Club eight at the 2009 Club National Championship.