Catching up with the UCF Varsity Eight: Caitlin Pauls

May 17, 2007

UCFAthletics.com continues introducing Knights' fans to the members of the UCF varsity eight that earned the program's first ever bid to the NCAA Championships with junior stroke Caitlin Pauls. A health sciences major, Pauls hails from St. Catharines, Ontario. Her sisters Stephanie and Jordynn also row for the Knights.

When did you begin rowing? What attracted you to the sport?
I learned to row when I was 10 but I have grown up in the sport. My grandpa, dad and uncle all row so I grew up spending summer weekends at the rowing course.

Why did you decide to attend UCF?
The team chemistry was awesome and who can pass up living in Florida and rowing all year?

What is your favorite aspect of being a member of the UCF rowing team?
Everyone works so hard for each other. The chemistry throughout the entire team is amazing.

What is the biggest misconception that non-rowers have regarding the sport?
That it is easy because it's an "Ivy League" sport. Rowing definitely uses every muscle in your body and there is no high like a rower's high at the end of a race.

What is your most memorable highlight from the year?
The whole year has been memorable, but qualifying for the grand final at south/Central Regionals was amazing. We didn't know if we had qualified until we were rowing back. All of our parents were jumping up and down holding up three fingers, saying we had done it.

How would you describe the American/Canadian dynamic in the boat?
It's fun to joke about and we do all the time. When it comes down to race time, we are all UCF Knights and we're pulling for each other.

What are you most looking forward to about the NCAA Championship?
We have nothing to lose. It's great going into races where your competition doesn't know what to expect from you. I'm looking forward to surprising some top boats.

If the members of the varsity eight competed on Survivor, who would win and why?
Melissa Westhoff. She's so nice that everyone would always want her around, yet she is also so competitive that she would win a lot of the immunity challenges.

What are your hobbies off the water?
Hobbies? What's a hobby? No, just joking. I love to read and cook. I've also started scrapbooking.

What are your plans for the upcoming summer?
I'll be racing at home for my club in the single and possibly a double and quad. I also plan on relaxing.

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.