Walk-On Meeting Provides Unique Opportunity

Rowing FAQs

LAWRENCE, Kan.— After a successful 2013-14 Kansas rowing season, highlighted by a Varsity Four victory in the Big 12 Championship and a third-place overall finish in the league, the coaching staff is looking for KU students interested in trying out for the team and being a part of the Jayhawk family and its athletic tradition.

Head coach Rob Catloth and his coaching staff will welcome potential Jayhawk rowers for an informational meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 3. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held at Hadl Auditorium inside the Wagnon-Parrott Athletic Center, located next to Allen Fieldhouse.

The meeting will discuss opportunities to join the KU rowing team, life as an NCAA Division I athlete and the walk-on experience that Kansas Athletics has to offer.
Rowing is unlike any other collegiate sport. In most sports athletes are recruited based on playing that sport years in advance. In rowing, a large group of walk-ons and freshmen form a Novice team every season for programs across the country.

Walk-ons have emerged in several rowing programs and gone on to win conference and national championships as well as performing in the Olympics. During the 2012 Olympic games, 10 of the 20 rowers for the United States team were walk-ons in college.

Catherine Clements is such an example. She joined the team as a walk-on in 2010 and worked her way up to coxswain of the Varsity Eight boat. Clements graduated in 2013 as decorated athlete, earning Academic All-Big 12 First Team twice, the Class of 2000 team award, was a four-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and received a C-USA Academic Medal for three-consecutive years.

“What I will cherish the most from rowing at KU is undoubtedly the friendships that I have gained from being a part of this team,” Clements said. “Being a student-athlete, we encounter numerous challenges all the time. Never once did I have to encounter a challenge alone because of the relationships I built within the team. From each challenge, we grow into stronger individuals, friends and teammates. I’ll never forget the feeling of my team counting on me each day and knowing they would be there if I ever needed them.”

Some of the perks of becoming a rower include adidas apparel, traveling the country and training in a world-class facility – the Kansas Boathouse. The 2014-15 schedule will include trips to Tampa Bay, Dallas, Tennessee and include three home regattas, where family and friends can line the river banks to cheer on their favorite rowers.

Jasmin (Smith) Moore was an athlete in high school, but rowing wasn’t an option for her. When she came to Kansas she knew she wanted to continue her athletic career. Little did she know, she would later go on to earn the Nikia Rosenberger Outstanding Coxswain award.

“I saw the rowing team’s boat out on the Strong Hall lawn,” Moore said. “I went to an informational meeting and realized I was clearly too short to be a rower, but they needed coxswains to steer the boat and be the coach on the water. I did not think I would make the team, but saw this as a chance to learn a new sport and meet people. At that time, pretty much all the freshmen were on the novice team and it was a fun atmosphere where everyone was learning the sport together. I stuck with it, and after the first year moved up in the ranks quickly with the support of experienced rowers and coxswains.”

For more information about becoming a rower for the University of Kansas perspective students are encouraged to email Carrie Callen with any questions at callenc@ku.edu

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