Women's Rowing Spotlight: Megan Hauver
Hometown: Glendale, Ariz.
High School: Lansing (Kan.)
Parents: Rich and Mona Hauver
Siblings: Jessica (17), Abby (15), Bobby (14) and Elle (12)
Birthdate: January 6, 1984
Major: Kinesiology and Pre-Physical Therapy
Notebook: Last season, was the youngest member of the First Varsity Eight boat as a sophomore, helping the Wildcats put together two solid races to claim first-place honors at the SIRA Championships in Oak Ridge, Tenn... The 1V8+ also finished the season with a 10th-place finish at the Central Division Championships... Earned her first varsity letter in 2003-04.
For some, a chance encounter can lead to many rewarding and infinite possibilities in life.
As an incoming freshman in the fall of 2002, Megan Hauver was set on pursuing her dreams of attaining a degree from Kansas State and becoming a physical therapist. Little did she know that attending an informational meeting about rowing that fall, would not only change her college experience, but enrich it with the challenge of balancing school and athletic competition.
With a strong high school background in cross country, she had once considered the small college route to compete at the next level, but opted to attend K-State. Through word-of-mouth from a high school friend, Hauver attended the meeting and found a renewed opportunity to compete. As a first-year collegiate rower, Hauver raced in the First Novice Eight (1N8+) boat.
“Rowing was such a brand new sport to me,” said Hauver, who enters her junior season as a varsity rower at K-State. “I was nervous at first, but when I caught on, it was really fun and gratifying. It is definitely harder than any sport I have ever competed in.”
What initially intrigued her most about the sport?
“The way the whole boat was set-up,” she said. “The seats moved back-and-forth and the coxswain used a microphone to communicate with everyone in the boat. In that regard, it showed me that rowing was truly a team sport in which all eight people had to work together.”
One of the fastest growing NCAA sports in the country, rowing at the collegiate level is very unique in that most teams consist almost entirely of walk-on athletes. More than half of the varsity squad at K-State is comprised of former walk-ons such as Hauver, who learned to row as a freshman or transfer student.
Similar to cross country, rowing is also a sport of distance and endurance. Unbeknownst to the average onlooker, rowers build strong quad and hamstring muscles, more so than in their arm muscles, which actually pull the oars through the water. In the bow position, which is the rower seated nearest to the forward end of the shell, Hauver and another teammate are in charge of the boat’s quick catches, while the middle four positions are in charge of strong pulls and the first two positions in charge of setting the rhythm.
Last season as a sophomore, Hauver earned a spot on the First Varsity Eight (1V8+), the team’s top boat comprised mostly of upperclassmen. By year’s end and in less than two years of no prior knowledge of the sport, she was rewarded with her first varsity letter.
In more ways than one, rowing has taught Hauver invaluable life lessons on how to better manage her time between practices, competition and schoolwork, as well as working through the adversity of pain and fatigue. And, despite the daily rigors and physical demands of the sport, she would not trade it for anything else.
“It’s a unique experience,” she said. “To compete as a Division I athlete at the highest level of the sport is very rewarding. My parents are very proud of me, because they understand how much work it takes. They are amazed at my abilities and have a lot of respect for rowers.”
The fall rowing season opens on Sept. 25 at the Head of the Des Moines in Des Moines, Iowa, and concludes on Nov. 13 at the Sunflower Showdown in Lawrence, Kan. The Wildcats officially begin their spring season on March 18-20, 2005, at the Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas.