Torquemada Brings Championship Experience to KU

Oct. 19, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. – A student-athlete transferring in collegiate rowing is uncommon. Gaining a transfer that has previously been a national champion is extremely rare. The KU rowing team is one of the few to benefit as junior Alex Torquemada joined the squad this fall. Torquemada transferred from Humboldt State where the Lumberjacks won the 2012 NCAA Division II National Championship. Torquemada’s Varsity Eight boat also won the National Championship. Humboldt State finished in third place in 2011 when Torquemada rowed for the Varsity Eight as a freshman.

“Going to nationals two times in a row were crazy experiences. I think that after that first year of going we made a decision as a team to go back. I think that mind shift is what propelled us to do as well as we did last season,” Torquemada said. “As far as training goes you have no days off. You are always mentally focused on that one goal. I just tell the girls here that it is an experience unlike any other.”

Torquemada’s drive to get back to the national championship was on display recently as she set the KU record for fastest 5k on the stationary rowing machine.

“I think that just going to the national championships gives you something to strive for and achieve. It’s one of my goals to get into the Top 20 and I would love to share that experience with the girls here and show them what it is like. It gives you something to push toward,” Torquemada added.

When Torquemada began the process of looking for a school to transfer to she had many options, but felt at home at KU.

“I was looking at a bunch of schools and some in the Big 12. They had me come out to Lawrence for a visit and I loved it. It was different enough but comfortable. I just knew it would be a good fit,” said Torquemada.

KU head coach Rob Catloth says Torquemada fit what the team needed.

“Alex is coming in as one of our top kids. We were looking for someone that could help us at the top to match up with some of our returning top kids and she is doing a really good job at that,” Catloth said. “I think the team has more of a sense that they want to be better and Alex can make them better. They are definitely looking to her to be a cog in the wheel that gets us where we all want to be.”

KU will have an opportunity to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships by winning the Conference USA Championship on May 18. The NCAA also awards 11 at-large bids to schools that do not receive automatic bids. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.