SEATTLE - The Washington men's and women's crew teams are looking for walk-on rowers to join the squad in the fall. No previous rowing experience is necessary.
According to men’s assistant coach Rick Gherst, “the walk-on athlete is what Washington Rowing was built on. We are committed to making sure that opportunity still exists.”
The Huskies have a history of walk-ons succeeding and ascending to great heights within the tradition-rich program. Walk-ons have rowed with the varsity and junior varsity squads on the men’s and women’s side and have competed for, and won, conference and national championships. Their success goes beyond that of collegiate rowing and includes World Championship medals as well as Olympic medals.
“We are looking for the best athletes on campus,” said women’s assistant coach Conor Bullis.
Recent graduate Ryan Schroeder joined the team as a walk-on. Schroeder, a baseball player in high school, won four consecutive gold medals at the IRA National Championships while at UW. Last summer Ryan won a gold medal in the US Men's 8+ competing at the Under-23 World Championships in Trakai, Lithuania. He graduated in June with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering after four years.
Kerry Simmonds and Megan Kalmoe are two Husky walk-ons that developed into world-class rowers. Kalmoe won a bronze medal in the women's quad at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, for the United States of America. Simmonds just captured gold with the U.S. at the 2013 World Championships in Chungju, Korea
Schroeder, Simmonds and Kalmoe are not the only walk-ons that are successful at Washington. Each year, the team reaches out to recruit on-campus to give students the chance to try out and to earn a spot on the country's national championship winning team.
“Seriously. No rowing experience is necessary,” Bullis emphasized.
For students interested in learning more, Husky rowers will be meeting prospective walk-ons at Lander and Haggett Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 3:30 p.m., and they will accompany them to Conibear Shellhouse for an informational meeting which starts at 4pm.