Former Tulsa rower Michelle Sechser (BA '08 and MBA '10) and current lightweight rower Jamie Roloff competed in the US Rowing World Championship Trials on Lake Mercer in Princeton, N.J., today.
Sechser, who competed with a composite boat from the Pocock Rowing Center in Seattle, captured a first-place finish with a time of 6:54.28. With their finish, Sechser qualified for her first senior national team and will be heading to Bulgaria for the World Championships in August. In her boat, Sechser was joined by her teammate from her 2011 Pan Am Games bronze medal crew and two women who were in last year's US bronze medal quad. Sechser and her teammate from the 2011 Pan Am Games beat the other two women recently at the US Rowing National Championships when they split into doubles to race against each other.
"Making the US Lightweight 4x today has been a dream I've been chasing for several years," Sechser said. "Coach Kevin Harris was the first mentor who made the time to sit me down while I was rowing at TU and tell me that I had the talent and work ethic to really make the US senior team someday. Everyday since he put that idea in my head I have been working towards this goal. I know that is one of the major differences between Tulsa and many of the bigger schools and programs; there is unparalleled support and attention from the coaching staff to help each rower achieve their personalized goals."
"I fully believe I would not have developed into the national team athlete I am today if it were not for everything I learned at TU, on and off the water. This is evident in the fact that The University of Tulsa had a record number of athletes compete at both U23 and Senior Worlds Trials this summer! Coach Harris and his staff have been instilling National team-level mentalities into his athletes."
"The University of Tulsa was one of the most well represented programs at Trials this summer on the women's side. The quality of the athletes that the TU rowing program is producing has increased exponentially in the past few years and this has made me as proud as ever to be a TU alum."
Roloff's crew, which turned in a second-place time of 7:09.63, was competing for Philadelphia's Vesper Rowing Club's "A" entry. Roloff just missed qualifying for the US U-23 National Team that begins racing in Lithuania today. She just finished her freshman year at The University of Tulsa.