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Quaker Valley rower McGowan headed to Louisville

| Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
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Quaker Valley senior rower Callie McGowan signs a letter of intent to attend Louisville.

Quaker Valley senior Callie McGowan said geography played a big role in her decision to join the University of Louisville women's rowing team next year.

McGowan, a standout on the Three Rivers Rowing junior team, signed a letter of intent with the Cardinals in a ceremony last Friday at the Three Rivers Rowing boathouse.

“I like the South,” said McGowan, who chose Louisville over Minnesota and the University at Buffalo.

McGowan and Iris Ferris placed 16th after competing in the women's youth 2 C final at the USRowing Youth National Championships in June at Oak Ridge, Tenn.

At the Head of the Charles Regatta last month in Cambridge, Mass., McGowan, in seat 5, was part of a Women's Youth 8 boat that finished 32nd.

It was the third time McGowan, who began rowing as an eighth grader, competed at the Head of the Charles, the world's largest two-day rowing event.

Earlier last month, McGowan was on a First Varsity 8-plus boat that took first place at the Head of the Ohio Regatta on the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh.

At 5-foot-4, McGowan is exceptionally quick and strong, Three Rivers Rowing junior coach Rick Brown said.

“She is a perfect example that you don't have to be the tallest member (of) the team to be one of the fastest,” Brown said. “She's a very powerful young woman who has been a pleasure to coach.”

Brown said McGowan has the right temperament to be a college rower.

“She brings great energy and knows how to provide a great mix of fun and (hard work),” Brown said. “I'm confident she'll do well at the next level because of her ability to enjoy working hard.”

Louisville entered last season ranked 18th in the CRCA/USRowing Coaches' Poll. The Cardinals finished second overall to Notre Dame at the Big East championship in May.

Louisville has been Big East runner-up four times since 2006.

McGowan, who is considering becoming an athletic trainer or a physical therapist, plans to study sport sciences.

McGowan so far is one of two Three Rivers Rowing junior team members who will compete for a Division I school next year, Brown said.

Seton-La Salle senior Ashley Saba planned to sign with Ohio State earlier this week.

Brown said McGowan and Saba are the 10th and 11th rowers from his team to receive Division I scholarships since 2010.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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