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Crosswhite fills competitive void

June 12, 2019 - 00:00
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KHS graduate part of OSU rowing team that places 4th at nationals

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    KHS GRADUATE and current Oklahoma State University student Anna Crosswhite, fifth from the back, is now a part of the school’s rowing team. She’s pictured during a scrimmage this spring against Wichita State University. [Photo provided]

Anna Crosswhite, a Kingfisher High School graduate, is a part of the Oklahoma State University rowing program that placed fourth in the American Collegiate Rowing Association national championship this spring.

The program was first established in 1973 and was the first rowing team in Oklahoma.

The club sport has been off and on at OSU since its original establishment, but started up again last August for the first time in eight years, according to Crosswhite.

Crosswhite attended an informal meeting last August, at the beginning of her sophomore year, about the reintroduction of the program and joined the team after the meeting.

In addition to competing, Crosswhite now serves as the club secretary.

Rowing competitions, also called ‘regattas,’ consist of a series of boat races, explained Crosswhite.

“Regattas are very fun to watch. People line up along the sides of the race course and yell for their teams and colleges set up their team tents at the venue,” said Crosswhite.

“The race course is 2,000 meters long and there are several different divisions,” she said. “It essentially resembles a large track meet, except near a waterway.”

The 8+ boat holds eight rowers and a coxswain who guides the rowers and boat throughout the course without rowing.

The 4+ boat holds four rowers and a coxswain.

“After spending my whole life in sports, I missed the feeling of being on a competitive team and the strong bond you develop with your teammates,” said Crosswhite. “It has been really cool to have that again since coming to college.”

The program, which now has close to 30 athletes, traveled to several regattas in Kansas, one in Nashville, to Alabama for nationals preparation and ended its season in Gainesville, Ga. for ACRA nationals.

The team raced a women’s novice 4+ boat at the nationals competition.

“Over 71 colleges attended from across the nation so the event was pretty huge,” said Crosswhite. “It was a cool experience getting to see it all, cheer on my teammates and help manage the trip.”

The 10-month-old program placed fourth and was .5 second away from a third place medal.

This title did not come without hard work, according to Crosswhite.

The team practices six days a week. Monday through Friday practices are at 5:45 a.m. at Lake Carl Blackwell or at the Colvin Recreational Center on OSU’s campus.

On Saturday morning, practices are scheduled for 8 a.m. and evening practices are held for those who cannot attend morning practices.

In addition to devoting her time to the rowing program, Crosswhite is also involved in the OSU Beekeeping Club.

“We manage beekeeping colonies of our own, capture swarms, volunteer together and participate in OSU events such as Earthfest to educate people about the importance of honeybees and beekeepers,” she said.

Crosswhite is majoring in psychology with plans to graduate in Spring of 2021.