Andrus Participates in Pre-Elite Camp in Seattle

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SEATTLE, WASH. -- Hilary Andrus (Sr., Chimacum, WA/Chimacum HS) from the Willamette University women's rowing team, participated in a U.S. Rowing Pre-Elite Athlete Identification Camp in Seattle on Nov. 14. The athletes were selected for their potential to develop into Under-23 or Senior National Team members. Andrus participated on the ergometer (rowing machine) and in the water with other top rowers from various West Coast collegiate programs -- mostly from NCAA Division I.

Andrus and the Willamette rowing team compete in NCAA Division III. The WU women's varsity eight+ was selected for the NCAA National Championship Regatta this past spring and placed 11th among the 16 boats involved in the Division III races.

At the Pre-Elite Athlete Identification Camp in Seattle, Andrus and the other rowers began the day with testing at the University of Washington Shellhouse. Testing included a 10-rowing-stroke effort to measure maximum wattage output, a one-minute ergometer test to determine anaerobic capacity and peak power, and a 30-minute test to evaluate aerobic capacity. Andrus performed well during the testing.

After the testing, Anne Kakela, a national team coach, chose Andrus and others to be "boated." The selection of Andrus gave her the chance to compete on the water. Being "boated" is considered a huge honor, especially when a rower is recognized by a member of the U.S. National Team coaching staff.

"The power in the eight I rowed in felt amazing," Andrus said. "It was a great experience to be able to row with the best of the Northwest. I really had fun!"

During the summer, Andrus trained and competed while attending a U.S. Rowing Pre-Elite camp in Bloomington, Indiana. The camp lasted several weeks and gave Andrus a chance to improve her skills as a sculler (where each rower carries two oars instead of one).

She competed at the Independence Day Regatta in Philadelphia, Pa., the U.S. Rowing Club Nationals in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in St. Catherine's, Ontario (Canada).

Willamette Head Coach Susan Parkman has been impressed by the efforts Andrus has made to improve her skills and to develop her abilities as a rower.

"I'm very proud of Hilary, not only for competing with some of the best women from strong collegiate rowing programs, but also for taking the initiative to train and take her rowing to the next level," Parkman said.

Andrus is a co-captain of the Willamette women's rowing team, along with Erica Soma (Jr., Scotts Valley, CA/Scotts Valley HS). In addition, Andrus is a Mathematics major who studied abroad during the fall semester in 2008.

"Hilary leads by her actions," Parkman said. "She has shown that an athlete from a Division III rowing program can balance her academics, go abroad to study, make it to the NCAA Championships for the first time in the University's history and follow her dream of taking rowing as far as she can."

The Bearcat rowing teams finished the fall season on Oct. 28. Individual team members will cross-train throughout the winter in preparation for the spring season. Willamette's opener in the spring is set for March 13, 2010, when the the Bearcats will host a duel meet in Salem, Ore., against Lewis & Clark College.

Willamette rower Hilary Andrus (middle) participated in a weekend U.S. Rowing camp in Seattle during  November.

Willamette rower Hilary Andrus (middle) participated in a weekend U.S. Rowing camp in Seattle during November.