May 3, 2012
Abbi Huderle (Rowing) 2006-09
Shawnee, Kan. native Abbi Huderle came to Mt. Oread in 2006 to row for head coach Rob Catloth. The student-athlete spent many a morning on the Kansas River and following graduation in 2009, she returned to Lawrence to spend her mornings at KU once again, but this time as an intern for the Booth Family Hall of Athletics. The museum studies major feels right at home in the rich tradition of KU sports as she gives tours, conducts research and looks through records on a daily basis inside the hallowed halls of Allen Fieldhouse.
What was the best part about being out on the water every day?
“When it’s going well and the boat’s moving well, there is this sense of calm and oneness, which I know sounds cheesy, but it’s very rhythmic, almost like you are one with nature. It’s foggy and you can’t see the boat next to you, so the only other people out there are these seven or eight girls with you.”
Do you miss getting up at the early hours of every morning?
“I miss the team bond that comes from having to get up really early for weights workouts, or being on the water before class starts. Nobody else is going to do that except for your team. So I do miss that, but I don’t miss having to get up that early.”
Do you have a favorite race you competed in during your time at KU?
“My favorite race, even though I don’t remember much of it because races tend to become a blur, was my sophomore year (2007), when my four won the Big 12 Invitational. We were the only (KU) boat to win that day and we even got medals, so that was cool. It was the only Big 12 race I won and we did it by more than five seconds. That was probably my proudest achievement.”
What is one of the most challenging parts about being a rower that somebody might not know?
“It is a lot harder than it looks. My coach used to say, ‘If it looks easy, that’s when you know you’re working hard.’ Rowers get the rap that they aren’t working hard because it looks easy. Try it for five minutes; it’s a whole lot of cardio. People don’t always see that side of rowing.”
What is the best part about being a student athlete at KU?
“I think it’s the sense of family. In part because we are the only school of Jayhawks and there’s just a connection between everyone who competes. Once, I was on the campus at the University of Washington with my KU letter jacket and a man in a truck stopped me and said, ‘Are you a Jayhawk?’ When I told him yes he told he was too and said, ‘I was on the ’69 Orange Bowl team!’ I remember thinking that was so cool because people will recognize a letter jacket like that from very far away, so it’s like a family.
(In Lawrence), I think it’s even better now that they have the facilities they have and the academic support. You can do all your homework; tutoring and you can see your coaches and advisor because everything is there (at the Wagnon Student-Athlete Center).”
Do you still keep in touch with your old teammates?
“I do, one of them is actually an assistant coach here, Emily Martin. There’s a couple in the area but unfortunately I don’t see everyone as much as I would like to. You still see people on Facebook and Twitter though.”
What have you done since graduating from KU?
“I went to grad school at the University of Washington. My program is technically called ‘Museology,’ but no one ever knows what that means so I tell most people it’s museum studies. I graduated in spring of 2011 and I came back that summer. I was job searching and the museum (KU’s Booth Family Hall of Athletics) had an opening for an internship, so I applied. Now I am an intern at Booth Hall of Athletics, which means I give tours, answer questions, and do exhibit updates. The connection between me and this work couldn’t have been better because my interest in museums is collections.”
What is it like to see so much history on a daily basis?
“It is kind of unreal and some days I take it for granted that I am working in Allen Fieldhouse. I go upstairs and there is nobody there, the lights are off and it’s a totally different place. (The Booth Hall of Athletics) opened in 2006 and that’s the spring I started, but I never came here. KU sports are such a part of the culture here and there are so many things that I should have known about KU as an athlete, that I didn’t. You can come here more than once and still learn new things.”
Throwback Thursday Archive: http://www.kuathletics.com/throwbackthursday.html