NEW YORK – Fresh off of a 2011 spring season that culminated in Columbia heavyweight rowing team's bid to the IRA National Championship, the Lions welcome 10 recruits in the incoming class of 2015 for the 2011-12 season.

Graham Anderson, Kris Bae, Zach Ellenbogen, James Glynn, Buck Goggin, Sam Harris, Max Lindemann, Connor Murphy, Matt Ridgeway, and Alex Xu have all made commitments to join the Lions this fall.

"The incoming heavyweight class is an impressive group," head heavyweight coach and director of rowing Mike Zimmer said. "This group has demonstrated that they have the capacity to make a big impact on the heavyweight rowing program here at Columbia.  It is a diverse group of student-athletes committed to academic success and winning races."

Zimmer and assistant coach Jon Douglas noted that the Class of 2015 will be a particularly important one for the direction of the Columbia heavyweight program.  

"Recruits see a unique opportunity here at Columbia and we have been quite successful in our recruiting efforts with the past two classes," Douglas remarked.  "It is critical to have all three varsity classes making serious contributions to the speed of the team.  The Class of 2015 will be the third class in row that has the athletic ability that is so important to enduring success in this league.  This class will have the talent and work ethic to help drive the program forward." 

"We recruit student-athletes who are serious about their academics and serious about their athletic pursuits," Zimmer explained. "That is the foundation of Columbia heavyweight rowing.  Recruits of this caliber have options in their college searches and they chose Columbia because they were drawn to the team atmosphere and the Columbia environment.  This year in particular we recruited racers and leaders.  This gets down to the very character of the athletes and we are confident that these ten young men will work hard, win races and make Columbia proud."

Graham Anderson, 6-3, Weston, Conn. (Weston)
Stroked the USA Junior National Team 4x at the 2010 Junior World Championships ... won gold medal at the 2010 Youth National Championships in the 2x ... Placed second and third in the 2x at the 2010 and 2009 Head of the Charles Regattas.

Kris Bae, 6-2, Seoul, Korea (The Taft School)
Two-time Varsity 4+ rower at Taft ... two-year varsity football captain ... varsity wrestling captain ... two-time Western New England wrestling champion at 189 pounds.

Zach Ellenbogen, 6-5, Seattle, Wash. (Roosevelt)
Qualified the Varsity 2- for the 2011 Youth National Championships ... four-year sculler and sweep rower for Pocock Juniors ... awarded academic Washington State Honors.

James Glynn, 6-2, Shrewsbury, Mass. (Shrewsbury)

Raced in the top USA Development Camp 8+ that won the gold medal at the 2010 CanAmMex Regatta ... two-year varsity crew captain ... varsity crew MVP and Cliff Fountain Award winner for dedication and excellence ... St. Michaels' Book Award winner.

Buck Goggin, 6-4, Old Greenwich, Conn. (Choate Rosemary Hall)

Won the 2011 NEIRA Championship in the Varsity 4+ ... raced in the top USA Development Camp 8+ that won the gold medal at the 2010 CanAmMex Regatta... invited to the selection camp for the 2011 USA Junior National Team.

Sam Harris, 6-3, Kelowna, B.C., Canada (St. George's School)
Won the high school varsity 8+ at the 2010 and 2011 Windemere Cup Regatta ... won gold medals in the 8+ at the 2010 and 2011 Canadian Secondary School Regatta ... varsity crew captain ... academic honors with distinction ... St. George's school prefect and Captain of Boarding.

Max Lindemann, 6-2, Naples, Fla. (The Groton School)

Two-year varsity 4+ rower at Groton ... varsity crew captain ... invited to the selection camp for the 2010 USA Junior National Team.

Connor Murphy, 6-4, Holbrook, N.Y. (Chaminade)

Won gold in the second Varsity at the SRAA National Championship, NY State Championships and Philly Cities Championships ... placed fourth in the 8+ at the 2010 Head of the Charles regatta ... earned Most Valuable Rower award.

Matt Ridgeway, 6-2, Melbourne, Australia (Melbourne Grammar)
Selected to the Australian U23 National Team 8+ to compete at the 2011 U23 World Championships ... won the 2010 U23 National 4+ gold medal ... won gold medal at the 2008 Australian National Schoolboy Championships ... U18 Victorian State Rugby representative.

Alex Xu, 5-7, Bellevue, Wash. (Lakeside School)
Qualified the 4+ for the 2011 Youth National Championship ... coxed the 4+ at the 2010 Youth National Championship to a fourth place finish... awarded Lakeside Crew's outstanding service award ... three-year varsity swimmer and awarded the most inspirational swimmer award ... 2011 National Merit Finalist.