The team will hold an informational meeting for all prospective walk-ons at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25 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 in advance. But at every collegiate rowing program around the nation, a large group of walk-ons new to the sport join recruits 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. Ten of the twenty members of the 2012 United States Olympic team were walk-ons in college with no rowing experience.
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 and a positive attitude during the tryouts. Individuals who show the most potential as a rower will be considered for the team. It is typical for as many as 50 first-year rowers to be selected.
In just their sixth season, the Sooners have quickly built a strong championship tradition. With numerous awards and honors, OU is coming off a record-setting 2013. The season closed with the program's and Big 12's first NCAA Rowing Championship appearance.
"We are excited to build off the momentum from last season," head coach Leeanne Crain said. "Walk-ons with no prior rowing experience have been and will continue to be an essential part of our success. We are excited to welcome the newest group of student-athletes to the OU rowing family and continue to build the championship tradition that is Oklahoma Rowing."
In addition to trips to California, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, the upcoming season is highlighted by the Big 12 Championship on May 3, hosted by the Sooners on the scenic Oklahoma River. OU shares its home course with the United States Training Center in Oklahoma City's Boathouse District, one of the world's premier sites for rowing.
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 encouraged to try out.
"We encourage all students, regardless of experience to learn more about OU rowing at the meeting and tryouts," assistant coach Emma Gresson said. "Not only will you have the unique experience of being a student-athlete at Oklahoma, but you'll have an instant community at OU."
For more information about becoming a Division I athlete at Oklahoma, perspective members should contact Coach Gresson 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 them on Twitter @SoonerRowing and Instagram at Instagram.com/OU_Rowing.