As a younger lady, Kate Knifton would watch her dad row. A former Texas alum who competed on membership and nationwide groups after school, Knifton’s dad inspired her to comply with in his footsteps. However earlier than she started rowing herself, Knifton was a dancer for many of her life.
As she completed her freshman 12 months of highschool, Knifton realized she wished to strive one thing new.
“I simply had been doing dance for therefore lengthy, however I wasn’t actually as enthusiastic about it anymore,” Knifton stated.
Round this time, Knifton obtained a job engaged on the dock on the Texas Rowing Middle — the identical dock that may change her life and push her into the water.
“I noticed the rowers and was tremendous impressed by them,” Knifton stated. “Simply seeing a bunch of those who have been tall girls, like me, impressed me to wish to strive the game.”
Knifton joined the Texas Rowing Middle’s novice group in her sophomore 12 months of highschool. She would be a part of the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Rowing Junior Nationwide Groups from there.
She described the group’s preliminary environment as pleasant and respectful, signaling she was proper the place she wanted to be.
“From the second I obtained there, everybody was simply so welcoming,” Knifton stated. “There was simply such a mutual respect and appreciation for one another that I feel was actually distinctive, and I seen it immediately.”
When Knifton arrived on the Forty Acres as a freshman, she helped the Longhorns place second on the NCAA Championship with a time of 6:07.971. In Might 2019, the two-time NCAA Nationwide Champion helped Texas declare their fifth straight Huge 12 Rowing Championship.
Knifton’s remaining undergraduate seasons noticed two extra Huge 12 Championships in 2021 and 2022 and a Grand Remaining victory on the NCAA Championship in 2021 with a time of 6:17.387.
However Knifton’s streak was minimize quick in Jan. 2022 of her senior season. Knifton herniated a disk in her decrease again, leading to nerve issues in her leg and in the end forcing her to bear backbone surgical procedure in Oct. 2022. The expertise left her questioning if she would ever have the ability to row once more.
“It was positively scary,” Knifton stated. “Not having any solutions and feeling like at any level my rowing profession may very well be over, and I didn’t actually have any closure with it.”
With bodily remedy, a brand new mindset and encouragement from her coach, Knifton returned to the game she liked in just some months.
“An important factor I discovered, which sounds so tacky, however you actually simply need to consider in your self,” Knifton stated. “One factor my coach has stated to me that I actually bear in mind … For those who consider that you simply’re getting higher together with your harm, your physique truly begins to hearken to you and reply.”
Now, Knifton is being named to the Faculty Sports activities Communicators Educational All-America Groups, an honor given to student-athletes who keep a cumulative GPA of three.5 or increased and play no less than half of their video games.
“I positively have all the time valued teachers, and that’s one of many causes I selected to come back to Texas,” Knifton stated. “So, I positively actually respect that UT has made me really feel arrange for achievement after sports activities.”
As a current graduate, Knifton nonetheless seeks inspiration from her father in her research whereas additionally discovering time to shine her rowing abilities.
“I’ve all the time been impressed by my dad,” Knifton stated. “He’s a enterprise proprietor, and I’m inquisitive about doing one thing enterprise associated and perhaps beginning my very own enterprise someday or doing one thing in advertising and marketing.”
Knifton is at the moment partaking within the U.S. Rowing Olympic Occasions Choice Camp in New Jersey for an opportunity to signify the USA on the 2023 World Rowing Championships this September.