A rising junior at Windermere High, and a member of OARS, Lekebusch will be competing in the upcoming 2019 USRowing Youth National Championships
A member of OARS in Windermere, Owen Lekebusch has developed a knack for finding success out on the water as a rower. The Windermere High junior will be taking part in the upcoming 2019 USRowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota after finishing in third at the organization’s Southeast Youth Championships.
How did you first get into rowing?
It was the summer after fifth grade and my mom recommended that I do a Learn to Row camp over the summer. I went in and I didn’t know anything about the sport, but I went and I tried it and I instantly fell in love with it — I found it as a super cool, dynamic sport that is very unique in its own ways.
What has been the motivation for you to keep you in the sport?
A lot of it is the teammates and the coaches. The teammates are lifelong friends, they’re absolutely amazing, and the coaches are super supportive as well — they always have my back and always motivate me to do my best.
What has been your favorite part about rowing?
I love the competitive atmosphere. Me, myself, I’m a pretty competitive person — I like to challenge people and I also like to be challenged. Going to the races and just feeling the absolute rush of going down the course and eventually crossing the finish line — it’s just overall very competitive and very respectful.
Is there a highlight moment for you in your rowing?
A couple of weeks ago I raced in the US Rowing Southeast Championships over in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and it’s an event to qualify for the national championships in Sarasota. You need to get first, second or third to qualify, and I got third and I got myself a bid to nationals, which is a very big event. I honestly can’t wait for it.
How are you feeling about that appearance in nationals that’s coming up?
I still feel the competitive motivation — it’s always been there — but I’m probably a bit more nervous for this, because it’s a much bigger event. Everybody in the nation will be watching and see us go down the course.
Is rowing something that you’d like to eventually do at the competitive level?
Oh yeah, for sure. I definitely want to row competitive in college. It’ll help me keep that competitive rush that I like to feel, but also keep me in excellent shape through college. I know a lot of people do sports in high school and when they finally get to college they don’t really do anything. I feel like if I continue to row in college not only will I make a lot of friends — as I did here — I’ll also stay in shape and keep that competitive feeling.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I just love to hang out with friends — anywhere, anytime. Go to Disney Springs or something like that, or go to the movies. If I’m not really doing anything, I just feel like I could be spending my time interacting with people.