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Becca Brougher grew used to being on a team while playing soccer and basketball for Columbus North. But she’s never been on a crew quite like this.
Once Brougher steps on Indiana University’s campus for the fall semester, she’ll begin dipping her toes into the sport of rowing, or crew, as it’s often referred to at the collegiate level.
She recently committed to compete for NCAA Division I Hoosiers, even though she knows little about the sport.
“The coaches are telling me as long as I’m in good shape, I’ll be fine,” she said.
After leading the North girls basketball team to the Class 4A state championship game, within a half-court heave of a title, Brougher thought she’d be playing basketball in college. That changed when she received a direct admission to the IU Kelley School of Business.
She’d heard the Hoosiers needed athletes and, after visiting IU’s Bloomington campus in April, decided she’d give the sport a try.
“It would just be so weird not to be in sports,” Brougher said. “I love the fact that I’m going to be doing this.”
Brougher, who averaged 4.1 points and 4.3 rebounds for the 23-4 Bull Dogs in 2011-12, will begin with the novice, or first-year, group, as all freshmen do for the Hoosiers. But novice rowers can crack the lineup their freshmen years.
“Most athletes in (novice) are similar to Becca,” IU women’s rowing coach Steve Peterson said. “They’re really good athletes haven’t rowed before.”
The Hoosiers recruit experienced and non-experienced rowers, the latter of which are athletes coaches hope to mold into formation. IU is looking for its first berth in the NCAA Rowing Championships after spending most of last season on the bubble. Only 16 teams make the national finals.
“Our team is actually relatively young,” Brougher said. “This is going to be our 11th year as a varsity program.
“We were right on the cusp.”
The cusp, or rim, is right around where Brougher and the North basketball team finished in 2012. A long-range shot for the win hit the backboard and rolled out.
Brougher hopes her shot with the Hoosiers rolls in.
“I’m an athlete, and the coach thinks he can turn me into a rower,” Brougher said.
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