Quincy grad Rowell to wrestle at Eastern Oregon
Quincy graduate and standout junior college wrestler Kateri Rowell signed with Eastern Oregon University, passing on the chance to sign with a more renowned program in Texas in order to stay closer to family.
Rowell, whose mom lives in West Richland, less than two hours away from the EOU campus in La Grande, Ore., had the chance to sign with Wayland Baptist University in Texas. The school from the Lone Star State finished in the top 10 in the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association national championships this year.
That wasn’t enough to sway Rowell, who also looked at schools in California and Montana. She said she saw little of her family while wrestling at Grays Harbor College for two years.
“I would not have been happy in Texas,” Rowell said. Instead, she gets to wrestle and live a short drive away from Mom.
“She has supported me throughout school and I’m so thankful for all the love and support she has given me,” Rowell said.
Mom, Maria Rowell, said she “is super excited” about Kateri’s decision.
Her boyfriend, Josh, another standout wrestler, also supports the decision, and he knows what it’s like to wrestle several states away from home. He moved to Aberdeen, Washington, (home of Grays Harbor College) from Las Vegas.
Spurning Texas wasn’t an easy decision, but being close to family won out.
Rowell will be redshirting this year, limiting her competition to offseason tournaments. An exercise major, she will use this redshirt year to move ahead in her studies. After EOU, she will pursue a master’s degree in exercise science.
On the mat, she has lofty goals as well, seeking a national championship and a spot on the national U-23 team.
Rowell had high praise for Quincy coaches like Mike Wallace and Greg Martinez, who “helped me reach my potential.” At Grays Harbor, under coach Andy Cook, she sharpened her technique and became a good candidate to wrestle at four-year colleges, she added. The coaching staff at EOU liked her skills and pursued her for a year.
Now at La Grande, she seeks to sharpen not just her wrestling skills on the mat, but on the living room carpet. She has a team of opponents eager to test her skills.
“My sister has three boys,” she said. “I love spending time with them. It’s been hard to be away from them. Texas would have been too hard.”
By Sebastian Moraga, For the Post-Register