Rowing phenom takes talents to Notre Dame

by Michael Silver, Staff Writer

It is extremely difficult to play a Division I sport in college. The amount of practice and commitment that it takes to reach this level is very strenuous. One who picks up a sport at an older age are not as likely to get to the competitiveness that are found in Division I sports. For senior Annaliese Kehm, this is not exactly the case.

Kehm has been competitively rowing for only three years and has still received a scholarship to take her talents to the University of Notre Dame, one of the most prestigious schools for athletics in the country. Even though she hasn’t practiced the sport for as long as one might expect for her current resume, her commitment and work ethic is more than evident. Not only has Kehm excelled in rowing, but she was also on the Varsity basketball team for her freshman and sophomore years and the JV soccer team as a freshman.

Week after week Kehm goes through a strenuous practice schedule. Along with the daily stresses of your typical high school student, she leaves directly after school to her club team practice for City Island Rowing, a high performance rowing team located in the Bronx, New York. She also wakes up at 4:15 a.m. twice a week for 5:15 practice before school in City Island. The commute totals to about three hours on a regular day.

Kehm’s team usually participates in regattas (boat races) on the weekends. Her team travels across the country (and even to Canada) to participate in events against some of the best crew teams. Different regattas can vary from Cambridge, Massachusetts to San Diego, California. Her team even travels to Nationals in Florida, and more.

Kehm loves the many details that are needed in order to have success in the sport, which include the great physical and mental challenges.

“There are so many minute details that need to be perfected in order to go fast,” Kehm said. “The pursuit of perfecting those is one of the things I love about going to practice everyday.”

Kehm noted that she has always had a talent for swimming, and that crew has been a way for her to have fun in the water and escape other stresses in her life.

When deciding on where she was going to attend college, Kehm found that Notre Dame was the perfect match. Not only will she be a Division I athlete next year, but Kehm, one of the top students in her class, will also take her academic accomplishments to Notre Dame with a major in finance.

But what she valued most about the school was the familial atmosphere that Notre Dame provided.

“The alumni base is incredible and afford the graduates with so many opportunities that you do not find at any other University,” Kehm said.

Kehm narrowed down her top choices for college based on academics, majors, and rowing caliber. Her final five choices came down to Notre Dame, Dartmouth, The University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown, and North Carolina, two schools from the ACC, two from the Ivy League, and one from the Big East. Her final two came down to Notre Dame and Dartmouth. Connections with alumni teammates and coaches, as well as traveling across the nation for competitive tournaments initially got Annaliese into contact with these major Division I programs.