Former SPA swimmer joins NCAA Division I rowing program


Former St. Petersburg Aquatics swimmer Alexandra Walker, seen toward the right in this group, wearing a light gray shirt and blue ball cap, listens as University of Michigan Women’s Rowing head coach Mark Rothstein, seated on the couch at left, speaks on Friday, Sept. 1, in the meeting room at the team’s boathouse. Also pictured are assistant coaches Liz Tuppen, seated beside Rothstein; Krystina Sarff, standing in a white ball cap; and Emily Sugiyama, standing in the doorway at center in a dark gray block “M” T-shirt.

Rothstein has developed nine Olympians during his 20 seasons as Michigan’s rowing coach — more than any other school during that time — two of whom joined the team as novices with little or no rowing experience.

Walker joined the team this year as a novice freshman. Most novice rowers at Michigan are former high school swimmers, runners, or basketball or volleyball players.

The Michigan women’s rowing team placed second at the Big Ten championships on May 14 in Indianapolis, with first-place finishes by the II Varsity 8, I Varsity 4, III Varsity 4, and I Novice 8 boats, and took third place at the NCAA Championships on May 28.


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