Jan. 7, 2008
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University women's rower Kelsey Koenig is in the midst of her final season on the Bulldogs squad. The senior from Everett, Wash., was a member of the varsity eight that captured the West Coast Conference Championship and the WIRA Championship a season ago. Koenig was also a member of the varsity eight that defeated Washington State University for the first time in 10 years.
Q- Did you row in high school prior to college?
A- Yes. I rowed at Everett Rowing Association in Everett, WA.
Q- How did you get involved in rowing?
A- I first heard about rowing from one of my classmates in 8th grade who was rowing at the time. He told me I would be good at rowing because I had muscular legs. Hearing about something I might be good at caught my attention and I became interested in finding out more about it. Everett Rowing Association was the closest club, it had a great reputation and many of my friends from high school really enjoyed being a part of their team. I had always been involved in sports year round and I needed a sport to do in the spring, so crew became my spring sport.
Q- How is college rowing different than high school rowing?
A- To me college rowing is not much different than high school rowing. I was always competitive in high school striving to PR and this just continued as I entered college. The only real adjustment I had to make was getting accustom to having morning practices instead of afternoon as well as having two practices a day most days of the week.
Q- Why did you pick to row at Gonzaga?
A- I applied to Gonzaga because I wanted to go to a smaller school so that I could get to know my teachers and get more of that one-on-one attention from them. When it came down to deciding what school I wanted to go to, I ended up coming to Gonzaga based on their rowing program. I picked Gonzaga rowing because it is Division I, I liked the coaches, the team was successful, the boathouse was close to campus, and their athletic academic support staff was helpful and seemed genuinely concerned about my success as a student and athlete. I knew Gonzaga rowing would be a place I could continue to improve my rowing, continue to become faster, and be supported by fellow teammates.
Q- It seems like such a demanding sport, is it worth it?
A- Of course it is worth it, otherwise I would have quit a long time ago. I think my teammates and I have those days when you want to quit because it seems too mentally and physically challenging. Everyone makes it through the workout, usually surprising themselves of how well they have done and feeling gratified for pushing themselves farther than they thought they could. I feel if you have not had a day where you have thought about quitting then you have not pushed yourself hard enough to find out what you are really capable of.
Q- What are you looking forward to in the spring?
A- I am looking forward to racing 2K races, especially with some of the new competition added to our schedule. Some of the new schools we will be racing are Oregon State, Boston U., Dartmouth, Radcliff, Syracuse, Texas, Northeastern, and Brown. I am also looking forward to our conference championship and PAC-10s in Sacramento, CA.