KU Rowing Adds 10 During Fall Signing Period

Dec. 5, 2012

Signing Day Graphic
Rowing Signees
Name Hometown
Maddie Irelan Dublin, Ohio
Lexie Lanphere Shorewood, Wis.
Kat Young Chesterfield, Mo.
Emma O’Neill St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada
Madi Hovis St. Peters, Mo.
Olivia Loney Lawrence, Kan.
Rayna Barnes Peabody, Kan.
Kylee Dewey Silver Lake, Kan.
Brittney Railsback Lenexa, Kan.
Emily Kaye Ruble Leavenworth, Kan.

Lawrence, Kan. – The Kansas rowing team took another step forward during the fall signing period as the program received 10 National Letters of Intent from student-athletes who will begin classes and competition for the Jayhawks in the fall of 2013.

The class includes five athletes with strong rowing backgrounds and five with proven athletic ability that should translate well to rowing.

“All the rowers had great junior years and we are looking forward to strong senior campaigns for them before they move to collegiate rowing,” KU head coach Rob Catloth said. “With the inexperienced rowers we feel with their athleticism and competitive nature they should fit in and have successful rowing careers.”

The class of 2013 includes: Maddie Irelan (Dublin, Ohio), Lexie Lanphere (Shorewood, Wis.), Kat Young (Chesterfield, Mo.), Emma O’Neill (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada), Madi Hovis (St. Peters, Mo.), Olivia Loney (Lawrence, Kan.), Rayna Barnes (Peabody, Kan.), Kylee Dewey (Silver Lake, Kan.), Brittney Railsback (Lenexa, Kan.) and Emily Kaye Ruble (Leavenworth, Kan.).

“We are excited about the entire class and looking for all of them to compete for spots in boats from the get go,” Catloth added.

Maddie Irelan | Dublin, Ohio | Dublin Jerome HS
Maddie Irelan has competed at The Head of the Hooch and The Head of the Charles for the last two years as a member of Dublin Crew. Irelan was named rowing team captain for the 2012-13 season. In 2012, Irelan’s boat finished fourth at the Midwest Junior Rowing Championships in the Eight.

Irelan is also active in Student Senate and the student broadcasting program at her high school. She is the host of “Dublin City Schools Today” which is a monthly TV show that airs in Columbus. She is an award-winning producer for her public service campaign regarding athletes against drinking.

The daughter of Tom and Tanya Irelan, Maddie plans to major in broadcast journalism. Maddie’s sister, Bailey, rows at Rutgers.

“From the minute I stepped foot on campus I knew it was the right place for me,” Irelan said. “Everything made me want to become a Jayhawk, from the journalism school, to the coaches, to the women on the team.”

Lexie Lanphere | Shorewood, Wis. | Shorewood HS
Lexie Lanphere is a member of Milwaukee Rowing Club where her boat finished fifth in the Eight at the Midwest Junior Rowing Championships in 2012. Lanphere also participated in a boat that finished ninth at The Head of the Charles in the Eight in 2012.

Lexie is the daughter of Lawrence and Bonnie Lanphere and sister to a younger brother, William. Her father and sister, Lauren, swam at the collegiate level. Lexie plans on majoring in creative writing.

“The KU campus is beautiful with its matching buildings, hills and greenery. The overall feel is just one of excitement and I knew the minute I visited campus that I loved KU,” Lanphere said. “The rowing team is my favorite out of all the schools I visited. The girls are super nice and welcoming and there is a good balance between having fun and intensity. I love the coaching staff as they made me feel welcome and the team dynamic is what I am looking for.”

Kat Young | Chesterfield, Mo. | Parkway West HS
Kat Young competed against Irelan and Lanphere at the Midwest Junior Rowing Championships in 2012 where her boat from the St. Louis Rowing Club finished second in the Eight. Young was a member of a boat that won the Chicago Sprints in the Varsity Eight in 2012. Young also competed at the USRowing Youth Nationals in 2012.

The future graphic design major is the daughter of Brad and Carol Young. Kat has two younger sisters, Laura and Emily.

“Kansas was the obvious choice for me. It was really a no-brainer,” Young said. “Everywhere else I looked felt like a compromise, but I’m confident that KU is the perfect fit for me, both as an athlete and a student. The only downside of deciding early is that I can’t wait to start.”

Madi Hovis | St. Peters, Mo. | Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School
Madi Hovis rowed with Kat Young for the St. Louis Rowing Club and was also a member of the second-place boat in the Eight at the Midwest Junior Rowing Championships in 2012. Hovis rowed with the first-place boat in the Four at the Midwest Rowing Junior Championship and went on to finish fourth in the Four at USRowing Youth Nationals. Most recently, Hovis was a member of the boat that won the Junior Four at the Head of the Hooch.

Madi, the daughter of George and Lori Hovis, is planning on majoring in secondary education. Madi has two older brothers, Drake and Conor, who wrestled collegiately. Madi also has an older sister, Haley.

“Kansas gives off great vibes,” Hovis said. “I know Kansas will be there for me as I grow as a student-athlete and even more importantly, as a person. I am a very competitive person and I knew at Kansas I would be pushed beyond my limit in the classroom and in the boat. Kansas is exactly what I’m looking for. The campus is beautiful along with the welcoming smiles from students, faculty and staff; I was hooked from day one.”

Emma O’Neill | St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada | Governor Simcoe Secondary School
Emma O’Neill is a member of the second-place boat in the Women’s Senior Eight at the Canadian Secondary School Championships in 2012. O’Neill is a three-time letterwinner in rowing and twice lettered in field hockey. As a junior in 2012, she finished 14th at the Ontario Ergometer Championships.

The daughter of Susan and Jerry O’Neill, Emma is undecided on a major and has one younger sister, Claire.

“The great academics and all the resources the rowing team has were a major factor in choosing KU”, said O’Neill. “The facilities that the team trains at are beyond incredible. I loved the atmosphere at the school and it felt like a true college town. The girls on the team were so welcoming and the coaching staff made me feel like I was already a part of the team. Overall, I felt like it was home and somewhere that I can reach my fullest potential.”

Rayna Barnes | Peabody, Kan. | Peabody-Burns HS
Following the recently concluded volleyball season, Rayna Barnes was named to the all-conference squad for the second-consecutive season. Barnes lettered four times in volleyball and basketball. She was also named to the all-conference basketball team after last season.

The future athletic training major is the daughter of Erik and JoLonna Barnes. Rayna has one sister, Paige.

“I chose KU because I loved the feeling I had while walking around campus and I knew I could see myself being there,” said Barnes. “I also loved the fact of knowing that I would be a part of a very successful program and that I would get to be surrounded by amazing people everyday.”

Kylee Dewey | Silver Lake, Kan. | Silver Lake HS
Also an accomplished volleyball player, Kylee Dewey was recently named to her all-conference team for the second year in a row. She added all-state honors in volleyball in 2012, as her team won four consecutive conference titles and finished third in state this fall. Dewey is a four-time letterwinner in track, where she broke the school’s record in the javelin in 2011. She was a four-time letterwinner in dance as well.

Kylee is the daughter of Ed and Colleen Dewey and Steve and Ronda Pegram. She plans on majoring in physical therapy or pharmacy. Kylee’s siblings are also successful athletes. Her brother, Logan, played football at Northern Illinois while her brother, Brit, plays football at Washburn. Kylee’s sister, Whitney, played basketball at Oklahoma State. Kylee also has one younger sister, Cassie.

“I chose Kansas because I really felt at home there,” Dewey said. “I could see myself being there, getting my education and competing in athletics.”

Brittney Railsback | Lenexa, Kan. | Shawnee Mission West HS
A state qualifier in the triple jump in 2012, Brittney Railsback enters her senior track season looking to get back to state. Railsback has lettered in track and field each of the last two seasons and was named her team’s Most Improved Athlete in 2012. Railsback has also been named a scholar athlete each of the past three seasons.

Brittney is the daughter of Rex and Tina Railsback and is planning on majoring in pre-physical therapy. She has one sister, Meghan.

“I chose to go to KU because it is the university I have always wanted to go to,” Railsback said. “Even after looking at many different places, I only felt at home at KU. I also can’t wait to become part of the Jayhawk family.”

Emily Kaye Ruble | Leavenworth, Kan. | Leavenworth HS
Another track and field standout, Emily Kaye Ruble qualified for the state meet in shot put last year. Ruble is currently the team captain for her basketball team and has won letters in both sports during the last two seasons. She was named Most Improved Player in basketball in 2010 and 2011.

Emily Kaye is the daughter of Milton and Laura Ruble and is planning on majoring in early education. Emily Kaye has one brother, Isaac.

“Although at times the search for my college home was confusing and stressful all the signs kept pointing back to KU,” Ruble said. “I had a gut feeling that KU was the place for me and jumped at the opportunity. Plus, why would anyone want to go anywhere else? Rock Chalk.”

Olivia Loney | Lawrence, Kan. | Lawrence Free State HS
Olivia Loney joins the Jayhawks with a background in swimming and cross country and is highly regarded in the classroom. Loney is graduating from high school a year early and will be class valedictorian when she graduates in May. In 2011, Loney was recognized with a Principles of Distinction award for Tolerance and Respect.

Olivia is the daughter of Paul and Catrina Loney and plans on majoring in accounting. Olivia has five siblings: Elise, Adelle, Eli, Isabel and Ingrid.

“I like the future I see for myself that will happen after I attend KU,” said Loney.

The spring rowing season will kick off March 8-10, 2013 at the Oklahoma Invite. During the spring season, KU will row in eight competitions, host the Big 12 Championship and finish with the Conference USA Championships, which will determine if KU qualifies for the NCAA Championships.

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