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Pause at the Release: Brooke Helmberger

Brooke Helmberger
Brooke Helmberger
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April 20, 2011

Tulsa, Okla. -
Pause at the Release is our periodic feature in which we highlight the perspective of one of our student-athletes. In these articles, the athletes share their personal experiences as part of the Golden Hurricane team with our wonderful supporters and community members. Here, you'll find the backstage story on TU Women's Rowing, told through the eyes of the athletes themselves. Check back often to see updates from more of your favorite rowers and coxswains.

Brooke Helmberger on Rowing Exceeding her Expectations

Last year as I was going through my college search process as a high school senior, finding a school with a competitive Division I rowing program was not on the top of my list. In fact, it wasn't on my list at all. I was only vaguely familiar with the sport, and as a former soccer player and football kicker, I didn't really see myself becoming a successful rower anytime soon, but I decided to give it a shot.

I quickly found out that I had many misconceptions about rowing. First of all, I did not expect it to be so physically challenging. Rowing involves so much more discipline, fitness and strength than I gave it credit for, and I didn't know the first thing about technique. I also did not expect to have the opportunity to travel all across the country and compete against some of the most prestigious rowing teams in the nation.

What surprised me the most was the immediate bond I was able to form with the girls on my team, a bond that has only continued to strengthen through every grueling erg piece, every pre-race dance (the stanky leg) on the dock with my fellow freshman rowers and every come-from-behind victory. There are no words to describe the satisfaction of a hard-fought race, and the fact that you have all of the other girls in your boat fighting right alongside you makes it that much more rewarding.

I think the reason that rowing has exceeded all of my expectations is because my coaches and my teammates had set such high expectations for me in the first place. They had confidence that I could hit lower splits, develop my technique and even stroke the Novice 8, and because of their support, I have been able to achieve these things.



Rowing at The University of Tulsa is a privilege and an honor, and being surrounded by my teammates, coaches and supporters that genuinely care about you and want you to succeed is a constant reminder of why I have come to love the sport of rowing, even though I have only been doing it for seven months!

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Contact Natasha Ostopovich at natasha-ostopovich@utulsa.edu