Absegami High School senior Emilie Karovic recently signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Connecticut on a Division I women's rowing scholarship.
Karovic said the college signing was the culmination of years of hard work, both in school and crew. She was recruited by St. Joseph, Drexel, Duquesne and Temple, among others.
"To finally finish that process was exciting and definitely relieving to finally be rewarded for putting in all that effort," she said.
UConn ultimately offered her the best opportunity to pursue her academic goals while rowing in a competitive program, she said. Based on her academic achievements, she will be enrolled in the UConn honors program and will pursue a biology major.
"Connecticut really fit me the best both athletically and academically," Karovic said. "I really loved the dynamic that I felt with the girls there. I really look forward to continuing to compete and succeed and be in a really exciting environment where my teammates can continue to push me. It's definitely great to finally reach this point in my career."
The UConn women's rowing program has thrived under coach Jennifer Wendry, the only coach in the 20-year history of the program. The Huskies have won numerous Dad Vail championships with various boats and posted a third-place finish at the American Athletic Conference Championships in 2014.
"I love the coach," Karovic said of Wendry. "She's very dedicated to the team, and really cares about the girls in the program, and I felt it was a competitive and exciting environment where I can really push myself and reach new levels in my rowing career."
Karovic has rowed for the Absegami varsity since her freshman year, reaching the Scholastic Rowing Association of America Nationals each year. She was the stroke for the Absegami varsity four that medaled at Nationals in Ohio in 2016.
All four rowers from that boat have gone on to Division I rowing schools, including Karovic, Arielle Schafer (Alabama), Clare Moloney (Massachusetts) and bow Mackenzie Dorsett (Drexel). The coxswain, Madi Murphy, is attending beauty school in New York City.
"The varsity four has been doing great," Karovic said. "So far the girls have been doing great in college rowing. Everyone has really reached the point in their lives where they're happy and proud of what they're doing."