SENIOR SALUTE

The Oklahoma rowing team hits the Oklahoma River for the final time this season on Saturday, April 8, for the Big 12 Double Dual. The squad's nine seniors took time to reflect on their time as Sooners and what they each hope to accomplish in their final days at Oklahoma.

TAYLOR ARNOLD

EL RENO, OKLA.

"I am so excited to race in OKC one last time. It is an amazing feeling coming down the course knowing your friends and family are there cheering for you. I am very thankful for how supportive they have been, and I can't wait to race in front of them one last time." - Taylor Arnold

VICTORIA BAKER

DIBBLE, OKLA.

"When I started rowing as a novice I always looked at the varsity 8s in awe. And I said to myself, 'I want to be in one of the top 8s when I'm on varsity.' I knew if I made it into one of the 8s all of my hard work will have paid off, and it will have justified all the time and effort I put in. As of right now I'm racing in 5 seat of the 2v8, and I can't wait to go out and win races with my boat!" - Victoria Baker

STEPHANIE BUSSE

BIRD CITY, KAN.

"Rowing has taught me the value of hard work. It’s extremely physically challenging, but it has shown me that when I dig in and work hard I can do more than I ever thought I was capable of. It's the hardest sport I’ve ever done, and it’s given me the confidence that I can do really challenging things and have success in them." - Stephanie Busse

NICASIA D'ALLESANDRO

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J.

"My goal when I began at OU was to give everything I could to do my best and learn how to combine rowing with my academics. I think I have done so since I am graduating this spring and using all my strengths and the opportunities I had on the rowing team to carry it over to a career in pharmacy." - Nicasia D'Allesandro

NATALIE GRIMES

TUSTIN, CALIF.

"Throughout my four-year rowing experience I have lived through some of the highest highs in competition and success. We won a Big 12 Championship, bonded with an exceptional group of women that are now my closest friends and I worked harder than I ever thought possible. But these highs came with the similarly opposite adversity. Waking up at 5 a.m. to row in the middle of winter, working out even when my body was falling apart and facing some of the darkest days of despair shaped me into who I am today, got me what I have now and positioned me for success in the future." - Natalie Grimes

HANNAH KLOPPENBURG

LADUE, MO.

"Being a part of the rowing team has given me such a unique college experience that I would not trade for anything. It has been the most physically challenging experience in my life, and I have learned more about myself and how far I could push myself than I thought was possible." - Hannah Kloppenburg

MAEGAN NEIHART

BETHANY, OKLA.

"Rowing at OU has taught me about perseverance, thinking both individually and as a team. Not every erg test will be a PR. Rarely will athletes find perfect success in every workout. The key here is to come back the next day and again make the goal to succeed and complete the task at hand. This comes into play in my daily life as I have learned that I have more patience than I think. I do have the capability to work hard every day knowing that I might not find success." - Maegan Neihart

TAYLOR SPENCER

HARRISONVILLE, MO.

"It hasn’t really sunk in yet that this weekend will be the final time racing in Oklahoma City in front of my friends and family. I guess it feels sort of surreal. Obviously my goals are to get as far as we can this season. I want to beat Texas and win Big 12s. I want us to be ranked and make it to NCAAs and help to set a new standard of success for our team going into the future after I leave." - Taylor Spencer

VICTORIA WALLACE

SAN MATEO, CALIF.

"My favorite rowing memory was my freshman year when I was a part of the first varsity 8 at Conference USAs. It was an amazing feeling giving it everything I had and being a part of a winning boat that contributed to our team going to NCAAs." - Victoria Wallace

Fans can cheer on the Sooners this weekend in the Boathouse District in Oklahoma City. Racing is set to begin at 8 a.m. CT on Saturday.

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