24 Hawkeyes to Watch: Hunter Terry

April 16, 2013

Editor’s note: 24 Hawkeyes to Watch is a feature released Monday, Aug. 6, highlighting one athlete from each of the 24 intercollegiate sports offered by the University of Iowa. More than 700 talented student-athletes are currently busy preparing for the 2012-13 athletics year at the UI. Hawkeyesports.com will introduce you to 24 Hawkeyes who, for one reason or another, are poised to play a prominent role in the intercollegiate athletics program at the UI in the coming year.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Hunter Terry’s rowing career has taken her across the United States and around the world. While she has numerous trophies and stories to represent her achievements, the lessons learned from the sport are what she cherishes the most.

Terry, a graduate student on the University of Iowa women’s rowing team, picked up the sport as a senior in high school. Instead of attending a college in the United States after high school graduation, the Greenwich, Conn., native decided on a different route.

“After high school I attended a university in Scotland for a year,” Terry said. “I rowed the entire time. Everyone in Scotland was talking about how exciting the American rowing system in college was, so I wanted to do it.”

Terry eventually chose to pursue rowing at the University of Virginia, where current Iowa head coach Steve Pritzker was serving as an assistant coach. That’s where the trophies began piling up.

While at Virginia, Terry helped the Cavaliers claim the 2010 and 2012 NCAA team championship. She also won the individual title in the varsity four in 2010 and was runner-up in 2012.

Terry also helped Virginia win the ACC team championship in 2010, 2011 and 2012. She was a three-time ACC Academic Honor roll student and was an Academic All-American in 2012.

Terry had one year of eligibility remaining after the national championship run last season. She decided to follow Pritzker from Virginia to Iowa.

“I had one year of eligibility left,” Terry said. “I wanted to join a developing program like Iowa.”

Terry’s mantle is full of conference and national championship awards. Not too many collegiate athletes can say they won a national championship, but rowing allowed Terry to join that elite group.

Terry proved her athleticism and hard work allowed her to compete at an elite level in the sport. She remembers picking up the sport and the excitement that came with it.

“Becoming a rower was very exciting,” Terry said. “You get a handle on the effort it takes pretty quickly. Becoming good at the technique takes a while, but going after it, pulling hard and trying your hardest comes easily.

“Once you have that mentality, it builds on itself. You can get pretty far on effort in rowing; the talent comes from the effort.’

Work ethic, pride and effort come along with becoming a rower, according to Terry. Those are attributes she will carry with her once her rowing career is finished.

“You have to have confidence in yourself and there is an inherit sense of confidence you carry with you as a college athlete,” Terry said. “That will carry over after my career is done. You have to be accountable in class, in your daily life and obviously in rowing.”

Terry is in her final semester as a collegiate athlete and is hoping to help the Hawkeye rowing team build a foundation for success like she enjoyed with Pritzker at Virginia. Times are improving at the Beckwith Boathouse, along with the attitude and work ethic of the student-athletes.

Achieving a high level of success in the sport takes more than talent and Pritzker is preaching that message every day. He has a great example to show in Terry.

“Some of my friends back home really didn’t understand the amount of effort and mental energy it takes to be a collegiate rower,” Terry said. “They ask me if it’s worth it. Those national championships we won at Virginia will always be there. That’s exciting.”