Along with new physical changes to campus, Pacific’s athletic program is also expanding with the new addition of a women’s rowing team as the 24th intercollegiate sport.
Amanda Dudley was brought in as the new head coach. Dudley has prior experience coaching on the east coast at St. Lawrence University and the College of William and Mary.
When looking for recruits for the team, Dudley said she wanted girls who were hardworking, had some prior experience and who have the patience to work with girls at different skill levels.
She said one of the challenges this program faces is that they are starting from the ground up.
“I want girls who are willing to put off the competitive wins in order to lay the groundwork for the program,” Dudley explained.
Dudley said she is impressed at how quickly the team has picked up everything and feel they have a lot of potential.
While Seattle, Los Angeles and San Diego are strongholds in the west for rowing, a bout one-third of the team is made up of walk on’s and students from Hawai’i.
Though many don’t have any rowing experience, they do have water experience through paddling or kayaking.
Freshman Haley Gee didn’t think that filling out a simple recruiting profile would lead her across the United States.
Originally from Virginia, Gee used a website called “Be Recruited” to help aid her in the recruiting process.
By filling out information such as her GPA, SAT and ACT test scores and rowing experience, coaches from across the country were able to see her profile.
Gee was contacted two months later and was invited to go on a recruitment trip to Pacific.
She said she was a little apprehensive at first because Pacific is located far away from home, but she was willing to take a chance and visited the school in April.
“I really enjoyed it,” she said. “I got to see the Lu’au, Coach took me around the school and also had an itinerary for me of things to do around town and in
Amanda Dudley / For The Pacific Index
Portland as well.”
She went on another recruiting trip shortly after
to Maine and said she hated it.
“It took that trip to realize that Oregon and
Pacific University was the place for me,” said Gee. The team started practice Sept. 22. Their practices are on both land and in water. Their in-water practices will be at Hagg Lake, just ten minutes away from
The team is in the process of building a boat
house at Hagg lake and has two races scheduled for the fall, one in Portland and one in Seattle.
Gee said she is really excited about how fast the team is moving.
“We are starting the program out the right way and going at this 115 percent. When we get student- athletes on board with that, great things will happen,” Dudley said.
Gee said the great treatment and not feeling any pressure from Dudley to make a decision made her want to be a part of Pacific’s program.
“College is supposed to be all about finding yourself and experiencing new things,” Gee said. “As far away as it is and scary it is, I thought it would be an honor to be a part of this team.”