Catching up with the UCF Varsity Eight: Melissa Westhoff

May 22, 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 senior Melissa Westhoff. A cardiopulmonary science major, Westhoff is a native of Jacksonville, Fla.

When did you begin rowing? What attracted you to the sport?
I started rowing four years ago. Coach Becky Frost gave me a flyer at the student union to tryout I love water sports.

Why did you decide to attend UCF?
My sister and brother went here as well. I loved the campus.

What is your favorite aspect of being a member of the UCF rowing team?
Being a part of a team that really cares for each other. We show so much love and support. We definitely have a few good laughs along the way.

What is the biggest misconception that non-rowers have regarding the sport?
That it is easy. It's a lot of hard work. This is the hardest sport I've ever done.

What is your most memorable highlight from the year?
Beating Virginia and UCLA and pulling a 7:17 on a 2,000m erg test.

How would you describe the American/Canadian dynamic in the boat?
All the starboards are American and the ports are Canadian. Needless to say, the Americans pull the Canadians around.

What are you most looking forward to about the NCAA Championship?
Making a name for UCF. We are a part of school history and we want to represent our school with pride.

If the members of the varsity eight competed on Survivor, who would win and why?
Krystina Sarff. She is so good at everything and she's really nice.

What are your hobbies off the water?
Biking, running and going to the beach.

What are your plans for the upcoming summer?
I'm going backpacking across Southeast Asia.

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.