Written by Student Assistant Christian Bond
TACOMA, Wash. – The Pacific Lutheran University women's rowing team is looking for incoming first-years to join its championship squad this fall.
The women's rowing team has experienced incredible success over the last two seasons, winning back-to-back Northwest Conference Championships while sending boats to the NCAA Division III Championships both seasons. The Lutes finished fourth at nationals as a team in 2016 while in 2017 the varsity eight boat finished eighth at the NCAAs. The program boasts an NCAA Elite 90 winner and an All-American in each of the last two seasons while current Lute Hannah Peterson was invited to the US U-23 National Team tryouts. With the right work ethic, walk-ons can go from knowing nothing about the sport, to being a champion with outstanding teammates and friends.
"We look every year for people who are simply strong athletes, who are obsessed with pushing themselves to make the best form of themselves," said two-time NWC Coach of the Year Andy Foltz. "We then teach them how to row, how to train, and how to focus that energy into getting really really fast on the water, all while embracing the notion that we need to be graceful, balanced, and focused on being high performing students, and athletes."
Molly Ivey walked onto the rowing team as a first year last fall. She excelled, landing a seat in the varsity eight boat. Prior to rowing, Ivey competed in cross country and track & field. She also spent time as an Irish dancer. Ivey has experienced both physical and mental growth by being a member of the rowing team.
"From joining the team I've gotten to do a sport I would otherwise probably never have experienced and through it I've met some of my best friends and just all around fantastic, hardworking individuals," Ivey said. "I've never been a part of a team as passionate, dedicated, and supportive as this one."
The team ideally needs student-athletes who are taller than five foot, seven inches. If you're shorter, you can become a coxswain. First-years who are thinking about walking onto the team should send an email to coach Foltz at email@example.com.
"My overall experience was phenomenal and I cannot wait to continue to row through my next three years here at PLU," Ivey said. "If someone had told me last September that I would get to compete at Nationals in this sport I would have thought they were crazy, but that's the wonderful thing about this team and this sport is that every single walk-on has the potential to do just that."
PLU women's rowing will be at the Involvement Fair during the first week of classes on Foss Field. Interested students should look for the big white boat to meet current team members and learn more about the sport. The Lutes begin fall practice on Sept. 18 with the main competitive season taking place in the spring. All interested student-athletes must have completed their medical paperwork prior to participation.