Michele & McKayla sign to row for EMU


Posted by Brian Fogg
Manistee News Advocate

April 14, 2017

 — Onekama’s McKayla and Michele Haske will continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level, although not in a sport many people know much about.The Haske sisters will attend Eastern Michigan University next season where they will be a part of the women’s rowing team.

After playing volleyball, basketball and running track for the Portagers, they will be trying something completely new with a sport that’s not offered by the MHSAA.


“We’ve tried almost every sport offered here, so it’s kind of the same. We’re going there to try something new,” Michele said.

“It’s nice to learn something new. That’s what it is. It’s totally new to us. It’s going to be an experience and I think it’s going to be fun,” McKayla said. “It’s a sport that’s not offered by a lot of schools. It’s kind of nice to be introduced to it when you go to a new area.”

The process started out with the two attending camps, which helped catch the attention of a few universities in the area. During the winter they would work indoors to show what they could do if they potentially would end up on a team.

“Since it was winter when we went to the camps we had to use the Erg machines (indoor rowing machines) that simulate rowing,” McKayla said. “We haven’t been out on the water before, but I’m excited to get out there.”

“It’s kind of a dream come true. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to do that,” Michele said. “They said they’ll start us off slowly to get the hang of it, and then we’ll work our way up.”

Eastern Michigan is a division one program, and last season the Eagles finished third in the Colonial Athletic Association. EMU competes in the CAA in rowing only, because the Mid-American Conference does not have enough teams in rowing. The rest of the league consists of Northeastern, Drexel, Delaware, Villanova and Buffalo.

Just this season the Eagles have or will travel and compete in six different states across the country.

The athletic and academic programs are what attracted the two of them to Ypsilanti.

McKayla plans to major in nursing, while Michele plans to major in exercise science and later to become a physical therapist.

“They have a really good program,” McKayla said. “They just went down to Alabama for a practice race that they won.”

“It’s a beautiful campus. Everybody was friendly, too,” Michele said. “We talked with some of the teachers, and the coaching staff was great. The rowers were like family. They’re all so close and they’ve already accepted us into the family.”

McKayla (front row left) and Michele (front row right) Haske pose with their parents, Mike and Amy Haske, immediately after signing their National Letters of Intent to attend Eastern Michigan University on scholarships to row crew starting in the fall. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

April 2017
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