Beuke signs on with UW crew

Sequim High senior is ready to row for Huskies next fall

Celebrating Elise Beuke’s letter of intent to row crew for the University of Washington are

Celebrating Elise Beuke’s letter of intent to row crew for the University of Washington are

 

When her father took her and siblings to a summer rowing camp last year, Elise Beuke recalls, the general feeling in the family was that her brother Blaise would be the rower.

Instead it was Elise, now a senior at Sequim High School, that truly took to the water.

Beuke put that initial interest into practice with the Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association, competing on her own or with Port Angeles youth Aubree Officer in events across the region.

Now she has a chance to row with some of the top collegiate athletes in the nation and don purple and gold.

On Nov. 14, Beuke signed a letter of intent to row crew for the University of Washington, where she’ll be on a partial scholarship.

“I really like the school. I really like Seattle. I love the atmosphere … and the quality of education I’m going to get,” Beuke said Friday morning, as classmates and family gathered to celebrate her decision.

The scholarship pays for 52 percent of her school expenses, Beuke said, and that could increase if she excels in the crew program.

Beuke said UW’s crew officials are taking a chance on a young rower because of her athleticism.

“They see I have a lot of potential,” she said. “The thing I’m really good at is the physicality (of rowing).”

At the university, Beuke will transition from smaller (single and double) boats to eight-person crews.

The Sequim youth said she’ll have a full slate of morning and afternoon practices in the fall, workouts in the winter and then back to morning and afternoon practices during racing season in the spring.

Next fall Beuke enters a program with a deep history and some of the top young rowers in the U.S. At the end of the 2014 crew season, Washington’s program was ranked No. 6 in the nation and third in the West Region, behind Stanford and California.

Beuke said she never expected to earn a scholarship from rowing.

“It’s a big deal for our rowing program,” John Halberg, president of the Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association, said.

The association has athletes of various ages training and competing, from as young as preteens to rowers into their 70s. Halberg said one of the group’s goals is to invest into the sport’s next generations. Beuke’s coach is Rodrigo Rodriguez, an instructor with several years of crew experience who trains rowers on the finer points of form and pacing as they train from the association’s headquarters on Port Angeles’ Ediz Hook.

Beuke, who has joined up with Officer for several competitions in recent months, said of her partner, “I didn’t think I’d find such a close friend out of rowing.”

See www.oprarowing.org.

 

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