Reading the list of Chloe Meyer’s accomplishments at Ohio State University can leave one’s head spinning.
It’s best done in intervals with many breaks, and it’s probably advisable to stay hydrated.
Meyer, a member of Ohio State’s women’s rowing team and former Mount Notre Dame swimmer and field hockey player, graduated this spring from Ohio State with a degree in neuroscience and a 3.98 grade-point average. Besides being a member of the University Honors program, she was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, four-time Ohio State Scholar Athlete and Provost Scholar, a 2015 Big Ten Medal of Honor finalist and recipient of a Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship.
Outside of the classroom and away from the water, the Chi Omega Sorority member volunteered with Franklin County Children’s Services Friendship Program, the Second and Seven Foundation and at local hospitals while also serving on the Buckeyethon Steering Committee raising funds for Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
She also was a medical volunteer in Tanzania last summer, is planning a mission trip to Haiti in 2015 and was a candidate for Homecoming Queen last fall.
That’s all before mentioning that she was a key member of the Buckeye rowing teams that set a record by winning three consecutive NCAA Division I championships. The Buckeyes capped the historic run on May 31 at Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, Calif.
Nobody knows better than Meyer that, as whirlwinds go, her college career was a full-blown tornado. How did she squeeze it all in over just four years?
“There’s a lot there,” the West Chester native said. “It was difficult and I had to make sacrifices, but I learned that if you buckle down, you can get a lot done.
“I like to keep busy. I like always having something. Once you accomplish something, you always want to go on to the next step. That’s what I want to do in all aspects of my life.”
The 5-foot-9 Meyer made the Girls Greater Catholic League all-star first team in the 100-yard breaststroke and earned honorable mention as part of the 200 medley relay team, but she knew that swimming wasn’t her ticket to her primary goal of a pre-med program.
“I wasn’t competitive enough in swimming to go to a school like Ohio State,” said Meyer, also a four-year member of the Blue Ash YMCA swim team. “I wanted to choose a school first and not have swimming make the decision for me.”
At Ohio State, Meyer was approached by the Buckeyes’ novice rowing team coach who always was on the lookout for athletes 5-8 or above. She joined the program.
“Everything fell into place,” she said.
Well, yeah. Meyer, whose grandfather Jack was part of the University of California Berkeley rowing program back in the day, rowed on the Ohio State first varsity four crew that won a second consecutive NCAA event championship, helping the Buckeyes win the team title in 2013 at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. She repeated with the second varsity eight over the same course in 2014.
She found more similarities in the two sports than just water.
“Swimming is a full-body workout, and so is rowing, but the biggest similarity is the time,” she said. “I already had that foundation of spending 20 hours a week in practice.”
She spent most of the 2015 season with Ohio State’s first varsity eight crew before being dropped to the second eight late in the season, accepting the demotion gracefully.
“Switches in rowing happen all the time,” she said. “It was a bummer being moved out of the first boat, but you always want what’s best for the team. Sometimes, you look at the coach like he’s crazy, but our coach (Andy Teitelbaum) saw something in another rower and something in me.
“You’re not there for individual glory. I was happy to serve the team.”
She couldn’t argue with the results. After the first varsity four finishes fifth in its event, Meyer’s second varsity eight put Ohio State into position to contend for the team title by finishing second behind Brown. The first varsity eight held off – somewhat ironically, considering Meyer’s heritage – the top-seeded California-Berkeley team to win the event and clinch the team championship.
While Meyer always will cherish the championships to which she’s contributed, she is more appreciative of the experience.
“It’s a tough sport, but the best part is not necessarily the rowing, but the team,” she said. “Every woman on the team was on the same page as far as the goals and the sacrifices you had to make – the dedication to the sport.”
Meyer, the daughter of Michelle and David Meyer, also was pleasantly surprised at the reaction from folks outside Buckeye Nation to their accomplishment.
“You could feel the support of everyone – not just Ohio State, but the athletic world,” she said. “Everybody loves unprecedented success. Everybody was rooting for us – well, not necessarily the other teams in contention, but even after we won, one of the girls from (California’s) top boat, even though they’d just suffered a devastating loss, texted one of the girls on our team to say how impressed they were with our accomplishment. That certainly makes you appreciate what you’ve accomplished.”
Meyer might have another to add to the list. She is Ohio State’s nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year award, which will be presented in October in Indianapolis.
“When I was told that I would be representing the university, I was floored,” she said about receiving that news. “I’ve been so impressed by the Ohio State athletic department and how they develop athletes beyond their sport. There are so many other athletes. Reading through the bios (of the other candidates), it was pretty humbling.”
Meyer isn’t concerned about finding ways to fill the time in her life that won’t be consumed by rowing. After spending time in Ohio State’s neuroscience and psychology departments, along with 10 days in London, England, as part of a University honors course, she will attend medical school at Wright State. In a way, she’s following in the footsteps of another grandparent. Her grandmother and Jack’s wife, Dorothy, was a nurse.
“Medical school will be busier than even when I was training,” she said. “I’m looking forward to it. I think rowing probably has prepared me better for it than my peers. I’m used to studying while I’m exhausted. I’ve had teammates go to medical school, and they said they felt well-prepared.”
Just in case, though, she plans to take up running and hopes to work her way up to marathons.
“That’s me,” she said.