Catching up with the UCF Varsity Eight: Katie Chapman

May 16, 2007

For the next week, UCFAthletics.com will be introducing Knights' fans to the members of the UCF varsity eight that earned the program's first ever bid to the NCAA Championships. First up is sophomore coxswain Katie Chapman, a liberal studies major from St. Catharines, Ontario. She is one of the five Canadians who make up the boat's line-up.

When did you begin rowing? What attracted you to the sport?
I began rowing in ninth grade. Growing up in a city with two recognized rowing clubs, large international races and the Henley in my backyard made it hard not to be involved in rowing. Also, two of my cousins were coxswains.

Why did you decide to attend UCF?
When I came on my official visit, I fell in love with the campus. The coaches and team were also very welcoming. I wanted to be a part of a team that was up and coming and make history.

What is your favorite aspect of being a member of the UCF rowing team?
I love the chemistry that our team has. We are friends outside of rowing and always have fun. I also love that we have so much trust in each other and motivate one another every practice. Being able to travel around the country is a plus, too.

What is the biggest misconception that non-rowers have regarding the sport?
That it is easy. They have no idea how much work we put into it and how competitive Division I rowing really is.

What is your most memorable highlight from the year?
Beating Virginia, making the grand final at South/Centrals and hearing our name announced on the NCAA Championship conference call as an at-large eight.

How would you describe the American/Canadian dynamic in the boat?
We have fun with it. With all the Canadians on port and the Americans on starboard we sometimes have competitions in the boat. We joke about it a lot, but when it comes down to race day, nationalities don't matter.

What are you most looking forward to about the NCAA Championship?
The caliber of racing. To be sitting at the starting line with teams like Southern California and Yale is something that I had never imagined possible before this year. It's also a good way to be recognized as a team. It's going to be an amazing experience.

If the members of the varsity eight competed on Survivor, who would win and why?
Either Caitlin [Pauls] or Tara [Rogers]. Caitlin because she is so competitive and would do anything to win. Tara because of her strength. She would be able to easily make an alliance.

What are your hobbies off the water?
Relaxing with my friends and family and traveling.

What are your plans for the upcoming summer?
Relax! I'll probably work and maybe cox for my club. I'm also going to the Bahamas.

Continue to check throughout the week for more conversations with the varsity eight. The 2007 NCAA Women's Rowing Championships take place from Friday, May 25 through Sunday, May 27 in Oak Ridge, Tenn.