Truckee grad excels at NCAA rowing championships |

Truckee grad excels at NCAA rowing championships

Special to the Sun

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 Womenand#8217;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. Itand#8217;s a very big deal back East. A race like and#8220;The Head of the Charlesand#8221; 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.

and#8220;My first year I was mentally exhausted after each practice,and#8221; Dion said. and#8220;The attention to detail is so important, and if you make a mistake you ruin it for your team.and#8221;

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

and#8220;Cross country puts you in great cardiovascular shape, plus, the upper body strength is really helpful in rowing,and#8221; Dion said. and#8220;The people in Truckee motivate you to stay active because everyone is so athletic.and#8221;

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 Highand#8217;s Female Athlete of the Year her senior year.

and#8212; This article was e-mailed to Editor Kevin MacMillan at