March 2017

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Page 136 of 136

137 Y ou can't put a price on what Sarah Powell has learned as a student-athlete at the University of Iowa, although a registration fee is the reason she stuck with the rowing team. As a walk-on, Powell, a senior from Park Ridge, Illinois, needed to sign up and make a payment through the NCAA Eligibility Center. e combination of taking 18 semester hours as a freshman and intense rowing workouts nearly derailed her athletic career. "I was going to quit because it was so hard and challenging, but I paid the $80 registration fee through the NCAA website and I didn't want to lose that," Powell said at a UI Athletics Department all-staff meeting Feb. 8 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. "I stayed and I wouldn't change it for anything because I have learned so much about myself." Powell's story is different from most student- athletes at Iowa. She played soball as a freshman and sophomore at Maine South High School, but stopped and was not a member of any sports teams as an upperclassman. "I canoed a lot with my family which is what made me get into rowing," Powell said. "I thought they were very similar, but they are not at all. I learned quickly; that was a big change for me." Powell was among 80 potential rowers who tried out for a spot on the Hawkeye roster. e three-year letterwinner is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection who was named to the Dean's List for the most recent fall and spring semesters. Last season she competed in six races with the 2V8+ crew. "I have learned how to excel academically and on the water with help of the coaches that I admire," Powell said. "ey have a high level of knowledge about the sport and it is cool seeing what they bring to the boathouse to teach us every day. "It challenges me because it is not only hard physically, it is also mental. Trying to balance both those things while taking a full course load has been challenging, but I wouldn't have done it any other way because it made me a better person in so many ways." Powell also enjoys the diversity of her teammates. She has cohorts on the 2017 Hawkeye team who hail from nine states and four countries. "I have had teammates from the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, and being able to compete with people like that and their cultures have changed and inspired me to do other things and step outside my comfort zone," Powell said. Powell has also benefited from several academic opportunities at Iowa. She studied six weeks in Spain, completed an internship with a homicide unit in District of Columbia, and has utilized HireaHawk, the University of Iowa's primary online recruiting system. "I appreciate the academic side of what we do at Iowa," said Powell, a mathematics and Spanish major. "It has been an awesome experience." Because of the internship with the homicide unit, when Powell graduates, she wants to find a job that incorporate aspects of math, Spanish, and law enforcement. And she doesn't want to give up rowing. "I hope to continue rowing aer college," Powell said. "I would love to help others who are learning to row and share my love for the sport."

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