Ritzel attended Douglas County High School where she was a standout swimmer and cross country runner. She began rowing in the fall of 2005 and quickly was ranked ninth in the USA Junior National team testing. She was the captain of the cross country and swim teams as well as student body president. Ritzel holds five swimming records at her high school.
At Yale, Taylor was part of the Yale boat the finished third at the 2006 Head of the Charles. She is a member of Trumbull College.
Inspirational quote: "You can't build a reputation base on what you say you will do." - Henry Ford