NEW YORK - Nine newcomers will join the Columbia's women's rowing program for the 2012-13 season, head coach Scott Ramsey announced.

"I am personally thrilled and our returning athletes are extremely excited to have this group join our team in September," head coach Scott Ramsey said. "We only had three rowers and one coxswain graduate in 2012, so this group is going to provide us with some more depth right away.

"During the recruiting process, we are looking for women who are driven towards the challenge and opportunity to be the first team to win an Ivy League and national championship for Columbia Women’s Rowing," Ramsey continued. "We set the bar as high as possible and then focus on the process of doing the work necessary to achieve those goals. These women are ready to contribute positively to that culture and we can’t wait to see them arrive on campus in the coming weeks."

A snapshot of the incoming class follows:

Aneesha Baliga - 5-0 - CC - El Dorado Hills, Calif. - St. Francis
Has been a coxswain for seven years ... fourth place finisher in the lightweight four at the 2011 National Championships ... won a gold medal at the 2011 Head of the American in Northern California ... silver medalist at the 2012 Southwest Regional Junior Rowing Championships in the lightweight four ... National Merit Scholar ... Student Body Spirit Coordinator in high school.

Mia Ciccaglione - 5-9 - CC - West Simsbury, Conn. - Simsbury
Rowed for three years in high school ... team was the 2012 Connecticut Public Schools State Champions ... has completed two half marathons and a triathlon ... AP Scholar.

Colleen Condon - 6-1 - CC - Lake Oswego, Ore. - Lake Oswego
Earned a silver medal at the 2012 Northwest Regionals in the women's eight ... first place finish in the women's quad at the 2011 Portland Fall Classic ... attended the 2010 United States Junior National Team development camp ... competed at the San Diego Crew Classic ... Lake Oswego Community Rowing team captain ... Presidential Scholar ... high school student body vice president.

India Knight - 5-4 - CC - Norwalk, Conn. - Convent of the Sacred Heart
Team captain of the Connecticut Boat Club ... stroked the varsity 4+ at the 2011 Head of the Charles to win first place out of 60 crews ... finished third at the 2011 Head of the Charles ... two-time bronze medalist at Youth Rowing Nationals ... also competes in karate.

Elisa Mirkil - 5-8 - CC - Devon, Pa. - The Shipley School
Team captain at The Shipley School ... three-year rower ... has rowed in all three of Shipley's top boats ... reached the semifinals at Stotesbury in the varsity quad ... also reached semifinals of Scholastic Rowing Association of America National Championships ... received The Shipley School's leadership prize as a senior.

Madeline O'Brien - 6-0 - CC - Modesto, Calif. - Central Catholic
Began rowing as a junior in high school ... member of Stockton Rowing Club ... has rowed in a four and a double ... volleyball team captain and three-time all-league player ... also ran track and swam ... father played football at Fresno State ... president of high school's spirit club.

Carly Tashijan - 5-10 - CC - Clifton Park, N.Y. - Shenendehowa
Seventh place finish in the youth four at the Head of the Charles in 2012 ... first place in junior eight at the 2010 Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association Championships ... National Honor Society member.

Abigail Thacher - 5-9 - CC - Piedmont, Calif. - Piedmont
Rows for highly regarded Oakland Strokes club, where she was a team captain for two years ... finished second at the 2011 National Championships in the lightweight eight ... finished fifth at the 2010 National Championships.

Hayley Weil - 5-7 - CC - Chicago, Ill. - Walter Payton College Prep
Four-year member of Lincoln Park Rowing Club's varsity eight ... two-time team captain ... two-time Midwest Junior champion ... club has ranked in the top 12 nationally ... competed at U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships in 2008 ... National Honor Society member ... Illinois state scholar.