Kansas rowing adds 12 to 2019 signing class
LAWRENCE, Kan. – From nine different states and two staying close to home, Kansas rowing added 12 more athletes to the next class of Jayhawks to wear crimson and blue.
The 2019 singing class additions include; Kai Alexander (Tampa, Florida), Rachel Berkley (Lenexa, Kansas), Danielle Brunig (Ballwin, Missouri), Angela Dean (Brighton, Michigan), Madison Ewert (Leavenworth, Kansas), Alma Hodzic (Chicago, Illinois), Ty Kelly-Martin (Oak Park, Illinois), Ashley McCaulley (Woodbridge, Virginia), Olivia Micek (Kearney, Nebraska) Savannah Skack (Windlake, Wisconsin), Grace Wallrapp (Omaha, Nebraska) and Ava Winkels (Independence, Minnesota).
“We are excited to bring in another strong and large class of recruits, both that have extensive rowing experience and some that are just being introduced to the sport,” head coach Carrie Cook-Callen said.
Alexander comes to Kansas having captained her rowing team during the 2018-19 season and took first place in the West Districts Women’s Varsity Quad. Alexander also competed in track & field for H.B. Plant High School.
Following in her family’s footsteps, Berkley is the fifth Jayhawk in her family. The Kansas native earned 2018 Sunflower League honorable mention for her efforts on the volleyball court and was named a Kansas Scholar Athlete in 2017.
Brunig was a four-year honor student at Parkway West High School and was a member of the Beta Chi Pi and Mu Alpha Theta honor societies. While at Kansas, Brunig plans to study geology and go to veterinary school after graduation.
Hailing from Michigan, Dean has been rowing with the Skyline High School program for the Last two years. She has also spent time rowing a single, competitively representing Brighton in the spring and Washtenaw Rowing Center in the summer. Dean helped bring home the Brighton High School volleyball team two Conference Championships and a District Championship.
Ewert was a three-sport athlete, lettering in softball, basketball and volleyball. During her softball career, Ewert received honorable mention for her work in the infield at Pleasant Ridge High School. Ewert also received honorable mention for hitting during her senior volleyball season. While at Kansas, Ewert wants to become an occupational therapist and work with stroke and heart attack victims after graduation.
“They’re an exciting and diverse group with lots of personality and drive,” Cook-Callen said. “We expect them to contribute right away and grow in their first year at KU.”
Joining the Jayhawks from the Chicago Rowing Foundation is Hodzic. Hodzic plans to major in international studies and wants to be a part of an organization dedicated to saving the oceans and endangered animals.
Kelly-Martin also comes to Kansas with previous rowing experience with the Chicago Rowing Foundation and Saint Charles Rowing Foundation. During her time with the Chicago Rowing Foundation, Kelly-Martin was a part of both the 2018 Cincinnati Invite and 2018 Midwest Rowing first-place teams. The Oak Park, Illinois native also lettered in volleyball at Oswego East High School. Kelly-Martin anticipates to major in pre-medicine or community health.
McCaulley also has some rowing experience she will be able to bring to the Kansas River. The Virginia native coxed the first-place men’s first varsity eight and first varsity four at the James River Regatta in 2018. McCaulley was also the captain of the men’s team during the 2019 season.
Nebraska native, Micek, was a three-sport athlete at Kearney Catholic High School. Micek helped lead the Lady Stars to volleyball and basketball state championships in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Micek received numerous accolades for her performance on the volleyball and basketball court, but most recently received all-state honorable mention during her senior volleyball season and all-area team following the end of the 2019 basketball season.
Skack joins the Jayhawks with previous rowing experience. Skack helped the Muskego High School swim and dive team to two Classic Eight Conference first-place wins. She also helped the Warriors to two track and field regional championships.
A Nebraska native and previous rower, Wallrapp is a five-time letter winner in basketball and soccer. During her junior season, Wallrapp was named to the River Cities All-Conference team and received all-state honorable mention by the Omaha World Herald and Lincoln Journal Star.
Winkles is the ninth new Jayhawk coming to KU with previous rowing experience. While racing for Lake Rowing Crew, Winkles competed at the Head of Charles in both a single and a coxed quad.
The newest members of the 2019 signing class will join the Jayhawks on campus in the fall.
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