Former Tulsa Rower Michelle Sechser Makes US National Team for Second Time
Aug. 7, 2013
Tulsa, Oklahoma - Michelle Sechser, a 2008 graduate of The University of Tulsa, earned a bid onto the US National Rowing Team today by winning the Lightweight Single at the Senior World Championship Trials on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J. This is her second time to earn her way onto the US National Team.
Sechser turned in a time of 7:58.28 in the first heat and then posted a time of 8:16.06 in the Final, which was more than five seconds faster than second place.
"I am just ecstatic that I won Senior US Trials in the Lightweight Sing today," Sechser said. "I will now get to represent the USA at the 2013 World Championships. Rowing the Single takes huge amounts of discipline, accountability and courage. Last year I competed in the Lightweight Women's 4x, so this has been a huge transition. Luckily, the skills and work ethic that Kevin Harris instilled in my while I was at The University of Tulsa made this an exciting switch. TU's rowing program is where I truly learned to be a fierce racer, and that is what got me into the first place position to win today's trials."
While at TU, Sechser helped win the Midwest Collegiate Championships twice during her career and she had multiple top-10 performances in various regattas including the Dad Vail and Head of the Charles. Sechser earned her bachelor's degree in business in 2008 and an MBA in 2010. She also won multiple scholar athlete awards. As a Graduate Assistant Coach, her 2009 Varsity 4+ won the Knecht Cup and finished second at SIRA.
After leaving Tulsa, Sechser pursued her dream to become a member of the United States Rowing Team. In 2011, she won two bronze medals representing the US at the Pan-American Games, and then went on to the Women's Lightweight Quad and finished fourth in the World in 2012. Her dream is to represent the US at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
"Words can't describe how proud we are of Michelle," Head Coach Kevin Harris said. "She is a great alumna of Tulsa is now on her way to representing the United States internationally for the third time in three years. Michelle is a fantastic individual and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to coach her. We have always known she was a great athlete, but she is learning how to gain speed and is becoming one of the best lightweight rowers in the world - it's inspiring."
"The fact that this year we'll have had three lightweight women on the U23 US National Team and an alum racing as the US Lightweight Single at Worlds says a lot about our athletes and the program at Tulsa. I am so happy that they are taking what they learn at Tulsa and applying it to the world stage. It's definitely been a good summer watching them succeed from the rowing offices in Tulsa."
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