Wichita State News
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Sydney Fish (front) rows for WSU Crew at Wichita State University.

Freshman rower comes to WSU Crew with unique experience

Monday, July 13, 2009

Incoming freshman Sydney Fish began her rowing career in 2007, and she will continue rowing at Wichita State University for WSU Crew.

Her first experience in competitive water sport was at 6 years old as a swimmer. Fish spent her summers at Twin Rivers swim club and swam for Wichita East High School for four years.

“I’ve never been a particularly great swimmer or a team star,” she said, “but if my boat sank a couple miles away from a remote island shore, I’d survive.”

Fish responded to a recruiting call from the Wichita Rowing Association when she was 16.

“Usually, you have to do a lot of training on land before you can get in a boat on the water,” she said, “but the very first day I showed up, I got plopped in a boat and started rowing.”

She said she picked up the sport in a couple of weeks and competed in her first regatta that fall.

Fish is the captain of the juniors’ team and a member of the board, representing junior rowers, at the Wichita Rowing Association.

Her success traveled to WSU where she competed in the Shocker Sprints, an indoor regatta raced individually on rowing machines. She won both races in the junior women’s division.

“But that race is really intense so I pretty much felt like a blob of jelly after it,” she said.

Fish said the WSU Crew brought her on because she had past rowing experience, which is rare in Wichita.

“They realize that I’m going to hit the ground running, and I’ll put in a lot of focus and effort and push myself,” she said.

Fish will join the novice team when she begins college in the fall, but she does not know where she’ll be placed in the boat.

“I’m an experienced rower on both starboard and port, not to mention stroke and bow and any seat in between,” she said. “I can be useful wherever I’m put.”

Fish will major in geology at WSU.

“I’ve always been an enthusiastic student of science, especially chemistry, and the earth sciences particularly interest me,” she said.

But she also said she may not have chosen geology if it had not been for family members working as geologists.

“They really got me interested in it,” she said.

Fish applied to both Kansas State University and the University of Kansas and was offered small rowing scholarships, but she said WSU was a better fit.

“I’m really excited about coming to WSU,” she said. “It’ll be a lot more compatible to my learning style, and I’m just ready to make the change.”

Fish said she’s an explorer and, as she did with rowing, she’s always willing to try something new.

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Created on Monday, July 13, 2009; Last modified on Monday, July 27, 2009