ASHEVILLE, N.C. — For some, rowing is the ultimate team sport. The Asheville Youth Rowing Association says rowing is about working together, perfectly in sync, to reach a goal.  

What You Need To Know

  • Several young North Carolina athletes are getting ready to head off to college this fall to row.   

  • The Asheville Youth Rowing Association tells us rowing is becoming more popular for women.   

  • Women can row in college with full or partial scholarships because of Title IX.   

Louise Coates is a part of the Asheville Youth Rowing Association, and rows stroke seat. She started in the sport after a friend encouraged her to join the team around freshman year of high school. She used to play soccer, but fell in love with rowing, and hasn’t stopped since. 

“Rowing has given me the greatest sense of self achievement and working with all of the other individuals in the boat and just going to get something,” Coates said. “I’ve really built my mental strength and built connections with people around me.”  

For her teammate Madeline Halfacre, who’s been rowing for eight years, rowing is an escape.   

“I also love that I don’t have to think about anything else going on in my life, while I’m out there. Rowing just consumes all of your time when you’re out in the water, and everything else almost seems to just disappear,” Halfacre said. 

Halfacre is the women’s crew captain. She says that position allows her to be an asset to the team and support the other women.  

These high school seniors are dedicated to their craft and practice six days a week.  

Another senior rower, Emerson Linthicum says rowing can be hard and even scary, but it's worth it.

“I think it’s allowed me to become the best version of myself. To be so much more confident than I ever imagined. I’m really happy with the person I am today, and I think it’s largely because of this,” Linthicum said.  

But they also all strive to make each other better. “It’s so much more rewarding when you’re breeding success for everybody on the whole team,” Linthicum said. 

All three seniors will continue to row in college. Louise will row club at Virginia Tech. Madeline will row at Stetson University and Emerson will row at the University of Kansas.  

The Asheville Youth Rowing Association accepts athletes into their program as early as 12 years old.