Brevick continues a family tradition at WSU

Junior has siblings that competed in rowing during time at WSU


ZACH RUBIO | The Daily Evergreen

Junior Sara Brevick talks about her experiences walking on the WSU rowing team.

RYAN BLAKE, Evergreen reporter

Two things prevail in the Brevick household: rowing and being a Coug.

Junior Sara Brevick is the youngest of six siblings — two sisters and four brothers — all of whom have gone to WSU.

Her sisters Karin and Amy both rowed for the WSU rowing team, and two of her brothers, Danny and Peter, rowed for the men’s club team.

Sara competed in volleyball and javelin at Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie and did not pick up an oar competitively until she walked on to the team at WSU her freshman year. WSU is currently ranked No. 15 and is one of the top programs in the country with 11 appearances at the NCAA Championships since 2003.

“The fact that I’ve been on the team with an actual Olympian and world champions, how many people get to say that?” Sara said. “I cannot thank the coaches enough for giving us this opportunity.”

Sara was originally opposed to the idea of rowing because her older sisters and brothers already competed in it. She said she eventually decided to give it a try and was excited for a new challenge.

“I can explain to you what rowing feels like, and what it feels like when water is flowing under the boat,” Sara said, “and when you’re driving with your team, but you don’t understand it unless you feel it.”

Starting out in a totally new sport on a highly competitive team was difficult in the beginning, she said. In high school, Sara mostly did plyometric exercises and weight lifting to train for track and field.

Most of her training now involves cross-training and cardio, although the team occasionally makes its way into the weight room, which she said are her favorite days.

Peter is the coach of the men’s club rowing team at WSU. He said rowing is a sport you can walk on to in college and still perform at a high level.

Nearly half of the US women’s eight team that won gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics had never touched an oar competitively before college.

Peter said while he and his siblings don’t interfere with Sara’s coaches, they are always excited to give advice when asked. He said Sara’s competiveness and desire to get better serves her well.

“Rowing is a sport that rewards investment,” Peter said.  “[If] you try really hard and you put in the work, you’re going to see some really high-quality results.”

Sara said she is grateful for the example her mother and sisters set for her and wants to take advantage of the opportunity she has been given.

“Coming here and getting to be on a team with a bunch of women who are getting really cool degrees and doing pretty badass things in their sport, that’s amazing,” Sara said. “I’m honored to get to say I’m one of them and that I rowed with them, and I think that’s a really cool vibe that our team has.”

Sara and her siblings were homeschooled by their mother, Kris, from preschool through high school. She would spend the days teaching her children and nights keeping them under control.

“I don’t quite know if I’d call her a saint, but if I wouldn’t, I’d say she’s really close,” Peter said. “She’s a really, really patient woman who has an extraordinary amount of work [ethic].”

Sara said her mormor, Swedish for grandma, has inspired her to apply gratitude toward everything she does.

“Being thankful and having the willingness to show it has kind of been my motto here at WSU,” Sara said. “My mom, my mormor and my sisters too are really my inspiration for being a Division I athlete, just because I think that’s a really powerful thing and an opportunity that not a lot of people have.”

Brevick is double-majoring in human development and psychology at WSU. In addition to school and rowing, Brevick is a leader for Athletes in Action.

For now, she is focused on rowing and fulfilling a lifelong dream to compete in the NCAA Championships.

“Since I was like 7, all I’ve dreamed of doing is being a Division I athlete and going to the NCAA Championships and doing something awesome,” Sara said.