Dudley brings rowing to Pacific

posted in: Fall, Sports | 0

Joining Pacific University Athletics in the spring of 2015 will be the newly approved sport of women’s rowing.

The addition will be the Boxers’ 24th intercollegiate sport and the 41st rowing program nation-wide at the NCAA Division III level.

While rowing is still a growing sport on the West Coast, there is plenty of competition in the Northwest Conference. As of now, five other Division III schools will be rivaling Pacific including Willamette University, University of Puget Sound and Lewis and Clark College, as well as some Division II teams.

One goal of Head Coach Amanda Dudley is to put the newly founded Pacific team at the top.

“I want us to be the dominant squad in the Northwest Conference,” said Dudley.

Dudley has quite the rowing experience of her own, making her a great match for starting up a new team. Originally from New York, rowing has been part of Dudley’s life since she was 14 years old.

Through high school, Dudley participated on one of the most competitive teams in New York State which led her to continue her career into college.

A school much like Pacific, Dudley attended St. Lawrence University, a small Division III college in Canton, N.Y. Here she was able to gain even more experience in rowing with her team travels and high level of competition.

In fact, after four years of varsity rowing she helped lead her team to the championships in her senior season.

“I really learned to appreciate where hard work can take you; that and the team dynamic we had,” said Dudley. “At that point I knew I wanted to get into coaching.”

And coach she did. At first, Dudley coached a men’s team in Virginia. After a few years she returned to St. Lawrence as an assistant coach.

When the chance to come to Pacific arose, Dudley couldn’t pass it up.

“It was the opportunity to build a brand new team that brought me here,” she said.

Rowing is one of the oldest sports, and Dudley is hoping to see rowing reach more places and grow in popularity.

That is the current focus for Pacific as well; raising awareness that the Boxers are now on board with rowing.

There is recruiting being done in Hawaii, targeting those who enjoy water sports, as well as up and down the West Coast.

Dudley explained that rowing is another great opportunity for student-athletes to compete that is unlike anything already established.

“We are looking for people who have that love of the water and that competitive edge,” said Dudley.

The new coach is excited to get this team rolling and make an immediate impact in competition. Dudley wants to share her experience, which will undoubtedly make Pacific rowing stronger.

Pacific will use Hagg Lake, about 10 minutes from campus, as their home turf.

Here they will soon have a dock and equipment where the team will be able to practice and compete.

Dudley also looks forward to taking the team to different parts of the country to race.

She hopes to give the team the opportunity to head over to the east coast a few times to some of the biggest rowing locations in the country.

The team will debut in the spring of 2015 after time is taken to recruit athletes and to prepare for what will be another big part of Boxer athletics.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *