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.
Pause at the Release: Looking to Walk-On
Looking to walk-on to the Rowing Team? Here's Jessica's story...
"When I decided last spring that I was going to attend The University of Tulsa, I read about the Women's Rowing Team being open to walk-ons. I have always liked sports even though I'm "vertically challenged" and decided to try out for the rowing team.
During the summer I would go running and do tons of physical exercise so that I would not be horrible when tryouts came along. I filled out the forms to become an NCAA athlete (a new experience for my whole family!). Finally tryouts came.
Every day I would wake up with tons of excitement and nervousness about what our next activity would be. The first week of tryouts we learned how to row on the erg, which was fun because everyone was learning together so no one felt left out when the coaches would correct them on what they needed to do differently. It was fun when we got in the tank because it was the closest that any of us had ever been to rowing in a boat and trying to work together as a team.
Finally, I made the team. It was a great feeling when I received word I had made the team. I had been second-guessing myself and didn't believe I was good enough because I am so much shorter than everyone else, but it was one of the proudest moments of my life when we were handed our gear.
Rowing has become a part of my life. The day after we made the team we got to go out to the boathouse which was so much fun, but when we got on the water we had lots of troubles as it is so much different than rowing on land. Thank goodness it's hard to turn over an eight-man boat! When we first started rowing on the water we were hesitant rowing by Fours, but we eventually got it, and soon we were rowing by Eights. By the thirteenth day on the water we were racing in our first regatta. Once we started to gain confidence in ourselves and each other we knew that we could go far.
I love the feeling of being of being a part of a team that cares about each other like family. That is one of the best things about rowing and I will never give it up. One Goal, One Family, One Team!"
Jessica Burke, Freshman Walk-on of 2014
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