Rowing's Arrington on board with importance of academics
When Nancy Arrington learned of her selection as the Student-Athlete of the Month for May, her response was succinct.
"Fantastic," said the sophomore from Marietta, Ga., who made quite a splash with Texas Rowing during her freshman season and has continued that success this season.
"This honor really surprised me because there are so many great student-athletes at UT," Arrington said. "I was surprised they would choose me."
She indicated that this honor comes at a particularly good time.
"The workload between school and rowing gets pretty grueling at this time of the year," Arrington said. "It's encouraging to get such positive feedback and to know that the effort is paying off."
Her effort in rowing found her a part of the top boat in every race her freshman year.
The same has been true this season. The UT first varsity eight boat enjoyed a six-race winning streak which lasted until mid-April.
Arrington, a government major, has a personal streak going -- three consecutive finishes on the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll.
A recipient of the Ben and Melanie Barnes Endowed Scholarship in 2007, Arrington spends whatever free time she has helping others.
Last year, she participated in Smart Kids, Communities in Schools and Neighborhood Longhorns. Earlier this year, Arrington was a part of Austin's Deep Eddy Park clean up.
"Being well-rounded is incredibly important," she began. "You cannot depend on athletic skills to get you anywhere past college. For those of us (in rowing) who do not have the option of becoming a professional athlete, it's not just important, it's necessary.
"Not to brag, but a lot of my teammates personify that. Sara Cottingham will start grad school at UT next year. Rachel Lee is going to Africa this summer to work in a hospital and an orphanage. Alex (Janss) is moving to Los Angeles to start her acting career, Danielle Bartz won a Rotary scholarship to study abroad for grad school and Emilie Sallee is starting an Austin branch of her family company.
"For each of my teammates, rowing is just a part of what makes them such interesting individuals."
As is the case with many outstanding student-athletes, Arrington acknowledges that the disciplines that make her successful in rowing also do the same for her in the classroom.
"Determination, enjoyment and competitiveness," she said. "As much as I love rowing, it isn't always fun -- especially practice. As much as I love school, studying isn't always exciting. But no matter how tired I get, I always want to win. I have an end goal in everything I do. I think you need to reach a goal.
"I get to learn from world-renowned UT professors, travel across the country, find out how fast I can go (in a boat) and hang out with the coolest people on the planet.
"How great is that?"