The team will hold an informational meeting for all prospective walk-ons at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24 at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The meeting will be held on the second floor of the Chesapeake Stadium Club, located near gate 10 on Memorial Stadium's east side.
No prior experience is required and the opportunity to try out for the Sooner rowing team is open to all full-time female students at the University of Oklahoma.
Rowing, the oldest intercollegiate sport in the country, is different than any other collegiate sport. In most sports, elite athletes are recruited and rosters are formed months and years in advance. But at every collegiate rowing program around the nation, a large group of walk-ons, new to the sport, join recruits and returning rowers on the team.
Rowers across the country have gone from being walk-ons with no rowing experience to Big 12 champions, NCAA champions and even Olympic champions. 10 of the 20 members of the 2012 United States Olympic team were walk-ons in college with no rowing experience, with four of the athletes earning a Bronze Medal.
During a six-day tryout in early September prospective rowers will be taught the basics of rowing. Students will be evaluated on overall athletic ability, effort, determination and a positive attitude during the tryouts. Individuals who show the most potential as a rower will be selected for the team. It is typical for as many as 50 first-year rowers to be selected.
Entering their seventh season, the Sooners have a strong championship tradition. With numerous awards and honors, OU is coming off another record-setting season in 2014. The season closed with the program earning the Big 12 and Conference USA Championships and qualified for its second-straight NCAA Rowing Championship appearance.
"Walk-ons with no prior rowing experience have been, and will continue to be, an essential part of our success,” said head coach Leeanne Crain. “We are excited to welcome the newest group of student-athletes to the 2015 OU rowing family and continue to build the championship tradition that is Oklahoma Rowing."
In addition to trips to California, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, the 2015 season is highlighted by the Big 12 Championship in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on May 16.
OU coaches are interested in students wanting the challenge of competing with the best in the country. The ideal candidate will be athletic and tall, but anyone willing to work hard in the ultimate team sport is strongly encouraged to try out.
“I want all students to come to the meeting, no matter their interest level, to learn more about rowing at Oklahoma,” said assistant coach John Gartin. “Rowing at Oklahoma is special and even more so is being a member of OU Athletics. Being a member of the Sooners is a unique university experience and as a member of the rowing program you have a very special community around you!”
For more information about becoming a Division I athlete at Oklahoma, perspective members should contact Coach Gartin at firstname.lastname@example.org. A list of frequently asked questions and additional information for potential OU rowers can be found here.
For additional news and behind-the-scenes updates on the Sooners, follow the team on Twitter @OU_Rowing and Instagram at Instagram.com/OU_Rowing.