On Tuesday, April 24, 2012, Council Rock North senior Emily Grundman signed a letter of intent to accept crew scholarship to Stanford University.
Emily Grundman – Stanford University (Crew)
Major: International Relations
Final list of colleges: Stanford, University of Chicago
Reasons for choosing Stanford: “When I was looking to choose between UChicago and Stanford, it really came down to a few things. Obviously, they’re both extremely challenging academic schools, and first and foremost, that’s what I was looking for – that school that had the really challenging academics and also a competitive athletic program. When I was looking at my school options, it was a huge decision for me to decide to row instead of playing basketball. At UChicago, I would have played basketball, and it was really tough for me to turn away from that and head in a new direction, but at the end of the day, I think the overall environment of Stanford just suits me really, really well. Everyone there is just so happy. The academic and athletic programs are unbelievable, and more importantly, I have that chance to experience the D-1 athletics feel and get that feel of a big school where there’s still that academic attention that I was looking for in the first place.”
How did rowing at the collegiate level enter the picture after focusing your time and energy into basketball? “There’s really not a ton of rowing in this area. There’s rowing in Lambertville and Mercer Lake, but other than that, Council Rock really doesn’t have a lot of access to rowing. A lot of it came from my genes, I guess. Both my parents rowed at college – my dad rowed at Syracuse and my mom rowed at Smith. My aunt, my uncle and my cousins all rowed collegiately as well, so when I was opened up to this world, I realized – I’m tall, and I’ve played sports before. The combination of the height and the fact that as a rower you have to work so intensely as a team – you can’t just have one person giving it their all. All the people in any given boat have to give it 100 percent, and that’s what makes a team succeed. Just that dependency on one another, that ability to feed off of the success of your teammates – that really drew me to the sport, and at the end of the day, that’s why I chose rowing.
“I have been to a couple of camps, but other than that, my experience in rowing is very, very little. Locally, I learned to row at the Bucks County Rowing Association with Dave Mauro and Bob Kaehler. They opened my eyes up to the sport. Other than that, it’s just been basketball, and I always had that in the back of my mind.
“Going into the summer before my senior year, I was still pretty convinced that I would play basketball in college, but then I ended up tweaking my knee during the summer, which made me a half step slower and scared away the D-1 programs I was interested in. At the end of the day, I realized I still have this fabulous alternative in rowing, so when I went to California and met the girls and coach Yaz, I realized this was both a sport and environment where I could see myself thriving. Even though I don’t have very much experience in the sport, I think the amount of hard work that it will take will definitely help me succeed, and I’m willing to put in the time and effort.”
Stanford crew coach Yasmin Farooq says: "We are very excited about Emily's prospects as a member of our team and as a Stanford scholar-athlete. She's worked extremely hard in the classroom and in the gym to achieve her dream of competing in college at the D-1 level. Her diligence paid off, and she convinced us she would be an awesome contributor to our team. Now she will realize that dream as a Stanford oarswoman, and we couldn't be happier about it.
"When I met Emily, I knew immediately that she would be a perfect fit for Stanford. She approaches academics and athletics with genuine effort, discipline and integrity. She is a gifted athlete who doesn't take her gifts for granted. She is an incredibly nice person, a giving teammate and a fierce competitor. And it doesn't hurt that natural rowing talent runs in the family. Emily's cousin, Austin Hack (a member of our men's team and an Under-23 World Champion for Team USA) is a fantastic rower and inspiration, and I know he has been giving her lots of encouragement. Rowing at Stanford is the perfect 'next chapter' for a student, athlete and person of Emily's caliber. We're looking forward to seeing her in September."