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Bonded on the water

I-L grads Liz Euiler and Kim Patrick continued their rowing success in college

The duo of Kim Patrick and Liz Euiler celebrate the victory during the Dad Vail Regatta this spring in Philadelphia. Courtesy Photo. (click for larger version)
August 01, 2011
MEREDITH For Liz Euiler and Kim Patrick, the 2011 Dad Vail Regatta brought about the perfect culmination to their collegiate rowing careers together. What better way to go out then with a victory.

The Inter-Lakes High School alums saw the last regatta of the year end with a win in May, as the UMass rowers helped lead their Lightweight Four to a first place finish and the Robert Espeseth Trophy in Philadelphia.

"Dad Vails was a perfect race and was the perfect way to end my collegiate rowing career at UMass," said Euiler, who graduated this spring from the Amherst, Mass. school. "After winning our heat, we were hopeful about our chances to win but were nervous still because we had never raced the boats from the other heat. You could feel the excitement and energy in the boat and the desire everyone had to win the race.

"The addition of it being the last collegiate race for four of the five of us in the boat was just added incentive for us to win the race," she continued. "The race went off perfectly, we followed our race plan as we had discussed and were able to win the race. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to race with, they are some of the most dedicated and hard working people I have met and all the hard work we had put in over the year paid off on that day."

The winning time of seven minutes, 32 seconds was eight seconds clear of second place Pittsburgh, with Stetson and Sacred Heart rounding out the top four.

"Liz and I have been in a lot of races together so to close out the year like that was just an amazing feeling," admitted Patrick, who completed her junior year at UMass.

It's been a few years since the duo got their start in the rowing game. Euiler got into it in middle school thanks to a neighbor, and her love for the sport helped lead her parents to forming the Winnipesaukee Rowing Club so more local kids could get involved. It was Euiler who recruited Patrick to the sport, and they quickly became a successful pair on the water.

"I have always enjoyed competing with Kim and having her as my teammate, she is one of my best friends off the water as well," explained Euiler. "She is a great person and competitor and always made practice a lot of fun. I am glad I had the opportunity to compete with her as my teammate throughout both high school and college."

The pair was able to qualify for the U.S. Rowing Junior National Championships in the lightweight 2x during Euiler's senior and Patrick's junior year at Inter-Lakes, and they soon took their talents to UMass, competing at the Division I level year-round.

"There was a huge difference between high school and college rowing," said Patrick. "My schedule was really packed between sports and school and it's a year-round commitment so you've always got to be working hard to stay with it."

The UMass rowing program is unique in that there are opportunities to compete in both sculling (two oars per person) and sweep boats (one oar per person), as well as a lightweight program.

"I loved every aspect of UMass," said Euiler. "My athletic experience was fantastic. The support you are given by the athletic department both academically and in athletics is great. Also, my teammates are a big part of what really made the experience. My teammates ended up being some of the best friends I have and all the girls in the program are hard working dedicated people."

Just a few months since graduating, Euiler has been plenty busy this summer. She's been in Philadelphia rowing at the Vesper Boat Club as part of the Under-23 Lightweight Program, with the goal of the camp to select boats to send to trials to make the Under-23 National Team. While she was selected to row as part of the lightweight 4x, Euiler's boat took second at trials.

"The summer has been a great experience though," she admitted. "I have learned a lot and had the opportunity to row with some of the fastest U-23 lightweights in the country. Since we did not win trials, we traveled to Indiana to compete at the U.S. Rowing Club National Championship where we had a very successful week."

Euiler emerged from her week in Indiana with a pair of gold medals (senior light double and light quad) and two silvers (senior 1x and open quad), highlighting the exciting summer. Her next race is slated to be the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in Ontario, which will then lead her to returning to Amherst for training with a doubles partner from last summer. Then it's off to New Jersey to compete at the Pan-Am Trials for the opportunity to represent the U.S. at the Pan-Am Games.

"My plan for next year is to attend grad school at Brock University in St. Catherines in Ontario, Canada," Euiler said. "I will be continuing to study Kinesiology. I am still eligible to row at the collegiate level in Canada so I plan to continue training and competing there, as well as continuing to train to reach my goal of making a national team. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to study and train in Canada."

Patrick has spent the summer in Amherst, working and preparing for what is shaping up to be a busy senior year. While she isn't planning on competing for the UMass squad, the life of a senior in college brings about more than enough to keep her preparing for life after college.

"I'll be working and taking classes and hoping to graduate early," she said. "Rowing's been such a great part of my life. I was happy to be a part of the program at UMass and get to continue competing with Liz after leaving Inter-Lakes."

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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