Rowing Spotlight: Lexie Lanphere Returns Home for Big 12 / Big Ten Double Dual
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LAWRENCE, Kan. — For the second straight year, University of Kansas rowing will be representing the Big 12 Conference in the Big 12 / Big Ten Double Dual at Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wisconsin this weekend. This season the Jayhawks join Oklahoma to face a pair of ranked Big Ten teams – No. 19 Iowa and No. 11 Wisconsin.
Racing is set to get underway at 8:50 a.m. Central time on Saturday.
The Jayhawks will look to pick where they left off with their strong showing at the Knecht Cup during the weekend of April 9, where they took home three medals. The Second Varsity Four showcased their talents that weekend, as they went undefeated and later were named Big 12 Boat of the Week.
KUAthletics.com caught up with junior Kaelyn Thierolf (Shorewood, Wis.) before she returns to her home state for competition this weekend.
Q: How did you get started in rowing?
LEXIE LANPHERE: I started rowing in the winter of my sophomore year of high school with the Milwaukee Rowing Club. Two girls from my school were on the team and they told me what a cool sport it was and that I should give it a try.
Q: What has been the key to KU’s success this year?
LANPHERE: I think we’ve been really successful this year. We’ve upped our training from last year, and all girls have done an amazing job rising to the challenge. I think we’re more fit physically and emotionally than in years past, and everyone has a great attitude. I believe all these factors have contributed to our speed this year, which has allowed us to be more competitive with teams like Kansas State, Alabama, and Oklahoma.
Q: Being from Wisconsin, are you excited about traveling back to you home state this weekend?
LANPHERE: I’m very excited to be going to Wisconsin this weekend. A lot of my family members are coming out to see us, most of whom have never had the chance to see me row. They hear about how hard we all work, and I can’t wait for them to see our hard work pay off.
Q: What is your favorite part of being a member of the Kansas rowing team?
LANPHERE: I absolutely love my teammates. We all work hard for each other, push each other, and are there for each other. I believe we have an extremely inclusive and welcoming group of girls, and it’s amazing how much heart and drive each girl brings to the team.
Q: How much of your success comes from mental toughness and how much comes from physical preparedness?
LANPHERE: Both aspects are very important. This year, we are in the best shape we have ever been, so physical preparedness isn’t really an issue for us. We know we can push ourselves and our bodies will be able to handle it. I personally think that mental toughness is the harder aspect to achieve. You can be in the best shape of your life, but if you aren’t mentally tough, all that fitness goes to waste because you didn’t push yourself as hard as you could have.
Q: What is your favorite Kansas tradition?
LANPHERE: I think the tradition of having a rivalry with Kansas State is my favorite tradition. Not being from Kansas, I had no idea KU and Kansas State were such huge rivals until I got here. It’s kind of fun to have rival, using them to push us to be better, and giving us bragging rights when we beat them. We all want to beat Kansas State, and so we work hard every day to do so.
Q: What are some team goals as you get into the second half of the season?
LANPHERE: I have two goals for the end of the season: the first is to beat Kansas State at the Sunflower Showdown. The second is to get second at Big 12’s. This would require us to beat a lot of good teams. The biggest challenge for getting second at Big 12’s is that we would have to beat Oklahoma. I think with the group of girls we have this year this goal is very achievable, and I can’t wait to see how the season ends up.
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