TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) - Rowing is a sport that Chiles senior Allison Stevens just kind of fell into.
"My friend told me about it before my sophomore year, so I'm a little later starting behind most other people," she remembered. "I just immediately loved it, being out on the water."
Three years later, and Allison can't imagine doing anything else, and her hard work has paid off, as last year, she and her crew placed 17th at Nationals.
"For her to be able to know the strokes right away and pick it up some good boat feel was pretty impressive for her," said Capital City Rowing women's coach JonMichael Francis. "Right away she picked it up and went running with it."
"Last year was the first time that we sent a women's eight to Nationals, and so that was a great experience," she said. "We've had a lot of success at Regionals and States, so I think it's great to build the program back."
Getting the program back takes a lot of time. Allison and her teammates practice six days a week, and after being on the water, Allison also gets it done in the classroom, as she boasts a 4.66 GPA.
"You just have to set goals for yourself," she said of her success. "I'm more focused and I have a bunch of other people that are here to motivate each other, so it's a really great community."
"I really do think that both go together," said Francis. "You have to do both in that it requires being a good student and being a good athlete and learning the dedication and the time management and the willingness to put in the work."
Success goes hand in hand, and as she leaves Tallahassee, helping shape the success of others.
"I've kind of helped to guide the newer rowers, see what they have to do and set a good example for both on the water and off," she said. "When I joined the team, it was pretty small, so we just built it up and we've had a lot of success. I think I'll always remember as being introduced to rowing, it's just a very unique experience."
A unique experience she's glad she stumbled into.