Crew Series: Women’s crew is rowing up huge numbers locally and across the nation



This is another in a series of stories on the rapidly growing sport in Ann Arbor.

At the 2017 Canadian Nationals, the Skyline women’s team stepped up to the podium and took another step in their incredible growth and success. The Junior Women’s Quad and Senior Women’s Lighweight four both won bronze medals at the prestigious event.

The Eagles women’s team was second overall in team points at the 2017 Midwests. In 2016, the women’s team was National Champions in the Women’s Freshman Quad; and in 2016 the Women’s Varsity Double team earned National Champion honors at the US Nationals. That same year, the Women’s Junior Quad won the Canadian Championship. The Women’s JV Double team was National Champions in 2013.

Women’s Crew has been growing in popularity and college scholarship opportunities over the past decade and many young athletes have used rowing as a path to college.

About 20 years ago, women’s rowing became the counter balance to men’s football with the advent of title IX. This caused a large uptick in premier facilities being built at big schools and as a result a scholarship need was developed for women.

“The possibility of a full ride to a school definitely impacted the participation in rowing and it positively impacted both genders (even though for men, that weren’t the same amount of opportunities),” said Skyline Crew Coach Kit Bennett.

“There are now scholarship opportunities at Division 1 and Division 2. Division 3 is also an option, but no actual financial incentives can be offered, but a number of quality liberal arts schools that are hard to get into, can be more accessible if you are good enough athlete for their Division 3 school.”

In Michigan there are programs at: 

Michigan (fully-funded varsity women, unfunded club men, they are 10 time national champions)

Michigan State (fully funded varsity women; unfunded club men)

Eastern Michigan (fully funded varsity women)

Adrian College (fully funded varsity women’s and men’s programs in D-3)

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