RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.32 (Rowing)
A post shared by Kansas Rowing (@kansasrowing) on Apr 22, 2018 at 10:09am PDT
— Kansas Rowing (@KU_Rowing) April 22, 2018
Leaving home and traveling over 1,000 miles to come to Kansas, sophomore Reese Arnold never thought she would row on her home racecourse again. Originally from Virginia, Arnold had that opportunity this last weekend when Kansas competed in the George Mason Invitational in Fairfax Station, Virginia.
After playing soccer her entire life, Arnold decided to give rowing a shot and hasn’t looked back since. Her decision to pick up rowing, having been encouraged by her mother, Susan Arnold, led her to Kansas to continue her rowing career.
“When I visited Kansas, I absolutely fell in love and knew I had to come here,” said Arnold. “I had no ties to Kansas, but I knew I wanted to be here because this place is so special.”
As the Jayhawks pulled up to the racecourse last weekend, it was a surreal moment for Arnold as she thought back to all the times she had competed on the Occoquan Reservoir before and now had that chance with Kansas.
“I have all these memories from racing there in high school and it was incredible that it came full circle and I was able to share that with my teammates,” said Arnold.
Arnold’s family travels as much as they can to watch her compete, but racing in her hometown gave friends the chance to watch her for the very first time. Arnold was able to share the sport that she loves with close neighborhood families and their young daughters. Seeing them cheer from the sidelines gives Arnold hope that she opened the door to the rowing world for the younger generation to try the sport.
“Being able to share an uncommon sport like rowing with younger girls who are growing up in the same place I did was incredible because they will be able to try rowing if they really want to,” said Arnold.
Arnold, along with Kristen Underhill, Lauren Fee, Brianna Dittberner, Keaton Poppe, Shannon Cody, Bailey Blood, Valerie Swisher and coxswain Katie McWhirter, make up the Second Varsity Eight. Ad Astra, the Second Varsity Eight, placed first (6:46.9) in the preliminary heat and brought home the bronze medal in the finals with a time of 6:47.7 at the GMU Invite.
Competing at home gave Arnold that extra piece of motivation heading into the last stretch of the season and will help the Jayhawks be as successful as they can be in their last two regattas of the season.
Catch Arnold and the other Jayhawks back in action this Saturday, April 28 for the annual Dillons Sunflower Showdown against Kansas State in Kansas City, Kansas at Wyandotte County Lake. Racing will begin at 11 a.m., admission is free to the public and directions to Wyandotte County Lake can be found here.