OU Rowing: Senior Spotlight

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

NORMAN — Before the University of Oklahoma rowing season came to a close in late May with a second-place finish at the Big 12 Championship in Oak Ridge, Tenn., the decorated senior class of 2019 reflected on their journey at OU and rowing for the Sooners.

“It's been a privilege to coach these guys,” said OU head coach Leeanne Crain. “This senior class has really invested in helping to create a super positive team culture.  Our year has been defined by a “team first” approach, one that is selfless and inclusive, and one that recognizes the efforts of every team member. 

seniors“This is a philosophy that our seniors have embraced wholeheartedly.  They've done a great job of leading by example and setting the tone for younger members of the team.  They are leaving a legacy of excellence that will impact future generations and that's something to be proud of.”


NINA CHISM

chism

On being a part of OU Rowing and the experience of being a student-athlete:
“It's been a great experience being a DI athlete at the University of Oklahoma because I was Sooner born, Sooner bred. This is a dream come true. These past four years have been a lot of work but it's been a lot of fun. I'm sad that it's over but I'm ready to move on to other things, now.”

On what rowing has taught her that she will take with her in life:

"I think just life lessons in general. Even when it gets hard, just don't give up and keep pushing and keep fighting and you'll get there eventually."

On her plans post-rowing and post-graduation:

"I just plan to take a year off and work and hopefully go to nursing school after that. Right now, at least for the summer, just to relax and rest for a little while."


TE'A ELLIOTT-FOX

te'a

On being a part of OU Rowing and the experience of being a student-athlete:
“When I think about my experience as a DI athlete, I think about how much I've grown and how much discipline I've learned to have. I really learned the skills and qualities to be a division I student-athlete and to make myself successful. When I think about my time here, I think about both my growth as an athlete and also personal growth.”

On what rowing has taught her that she will take with her in life:

"OU rowing has given me the ability to look anything in the eye and know that I can do it. I think I've challenged and pushed myself so much in this sport that I've realized I can apply that in other places of my life."

On her plans post-rowing and post-graduation:

"I am looking at going back to Nike, I had an internship there last summer."


KALIE HEFFERNAN

kalie

On being a part of OU Rowing and the experience of being a student-athlete:
“It's been pretty incredible. Definitely, a whole new side of college that I wouldn't have experienced if I didn't start rowing. The team is awesome, I love being around all these girls and the coaching staff, they're so supportive of the program and my major choice. Rowing and engineering are really hard to do but I've been able to do it so far, I'll be finishing out my major next year even though I won't be rowing."

On what rowing has taught her that she will take with her in life:

"Communication skills. Being able to work as part of a bigger unit than myself."

On her plans post-rowing and post-graduation:

"I have an internship this summer in Connecticut. It starts soon and I'm really excited about that. Then, I'll have my last year of undergrad here next year. It's been a lot of work being aerospace (engineering) but it was the right choice and I've enjoyed all of it."


ANDREJA KEKIC

kekic

On being a part of OU Rowing and the experience of being a student-athlete:
“It was amazing. I feel like I've accomplished something that other people haven't or don't have the opportunity to do. After four years, I feel like it's been rewarding and it's an accomplishment that I've made it this far.”

On what rowing has taught her that she will take with her in life:

"Just the family and friends and the people I've met here. It's amazing, I can see myself staying in contact with them for the rest of my life. Obviously, the sport and hard work have helped me realize I can accomplish anything." 

On her plans post-rowing and post-graduation:

"I'm trying to finish my degree in biochemistry, so I'll be back finishing my degree and trying to figure out what I want to do from there."


LOUISE KUEHSTER

Kuehster

On being a part of OU Rowing and the experience of being a student-athlete:
“It's been a little different for me because I didn't start out on the DI team, I started on the club team. So, it's been really cool to be able to make that transition and joining the team that I looked up to. We would see this (NCAA) team rowing and be like “they're impossibly fast” and now I'm here and it's great.”

On what rowing has taught her that she will take with her in life:

"The teamwork aspect of rowing is something I didn't really get before. I did cross country and track so that was more individual. But outside of that, just all the friendships it's given me and my teammates." 

On her plans post-rowing and post-graduation:

"I got into Princeton but I'm actually going to Texas for chemical engineering. So I'll go to graduate school and continue to do research, whether that be in academia or outside."


ABBY LANGE

A. Lange

On being a part of OU Rowing and the experience of being a student-athlete:
“I always knew I was going to row in college ever since I started rowing. Being at OU has fulfilled so many ideals that I had growing up and about college athletics.”

On what rowing has taught her that she will take with her in life:

"There's so much. I would say the biggest thing is discipline and waking up early in the morning and pushing yourself so far physically before most people are even awake. Also, working for a cause and something so much bigger than yourself. You're representing your team and your university. I think that's an ideal I'm going to bring in my future career. " 

On her plans post-rowing and post-graduation:

"I'm going to OU medical school starting later this summer. From there, most likely I'm going to pursue emergency medicine in the military. I'm doing that program with them right now."


MADELEINE LANGE

M. Lange

On being a part of OU Rowing and the experience of being a student-athlete:
“It's been the best of times and worst of times. Seriously, it's been fun and the greatest challenge I've done so far in my life. I think it's made me who I am today, a tougher person, a more inspired person. I wouldn't trade anything for it.”

On what rowing has taught her that she will take with her in life:

"Resilience. Resilience through injuries, through hard workouts, through long days. Those 14-16 hour days that you have to make it through. I think it's going to help me a lot in my career and in my life in general." 

On her plans post-rowing and post-graduation:

"I'm waitlisted right now for OU medical school. So if that doesn't work out, then I'll come back to OU and get a second degree in chemical biosciences. I could do that in a year and then go from there." 


EMILY TAYLOR

Taylor

On being a part of OU Rowing and the experience of being a student-athlete:
“I think that being a student-athlete at OU has been one of the most unique and unforgettable experiences. It's hard to explain to other people how great it is if you're not a part of it. It's something that has shaped my college career and if I was given the choice to do it again I would do it all the same."

On what rowing has taught her that she will take with her in life:

"OU rowing has given me an experience that was unforgettable and has taught me lessons that I don't think I ever would've learned as an athlete or just in my college career. I know that given the experience I've had here as a rower, I can take those far in life and my career and personal life." 

On her plans post-rowing and post-graduation:

"Post-college and post-rowing, I'm moving to Austin, Texas, to work and take a summer job down there. Kind of just regrouping this summer to see what I want to do next."


For updates and more information on Oklahoma Rowing, follow the Sooners on Twitter and Instagram (@OU_Rowing).

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