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June 3, 2011
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Truckee grad excels at NCAA rowing championships

Kelsey Dion, a 2008 Truckee High grad, helped lead her eight-woman Bates College rowing team to a second-place finish at the NCAA Division III Women’s Rowing Championships.

The championships were held May 27-28 at the Lake Natomas Aquatic Center in Folsom.

The team from Williams College, of Williamstown, Mass., won the Grand Final in a time of 6:54.43. Bates followed with a time of 7:01.31 and Wellesley finished a close third in 7:02.23.

The Bates team, from Lewiston, Maine, had its best showing ever at this competition. Bates competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.

Growing up as a cross-country skier in Truckee, Dion had never been exposed to the sport of rowing, but discovered it as a freshman. It’s a very big deal back East. A race like “The Head of the Charles” in Boston can attract more than 200,000 spectators? Most of her teammates had rowed for a club or high school team, so she had a lot to learn.

“My first year I was mentally exhausted after each practice,” Dion said. “The attention to detail is so important, and if you make a mistake you ruin it for your team.”

Dion attributes much of her rowing success to the Nordic ski coaches and the training programs at Auburn Ski Club and Far West Nordic.

“Cross country puts you in great cardiovascular shape, plus, the upper body strength is really helpful in rowing,” Dion said. “The people in Truckee motivate you to stay active because everyone is so athletic.”

Dion is a junior double majoring in studio art and history at Bates. In addition to rowing, she continues to compete on the Bates cross-country ski team. She was a member of several championship teams from Truckee High and Junior Olympic Teams during her time in Truckee. She was named Truckee High’s Female Athlete of the Year her senior year.

— This article was e-mailed to Editor Kevin MacMillan at kmacmillan@sierrasun.com.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jun 3, 2011 04:38PM Published Jun 3, 2011 04:35PM Copyright 2011 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.