Taylor Flowers prepares to begin her first year of graduate school and her final year on the K-State rowing team.
Taylor Flowers, a 2014 Skyline alumna, graduated from Kansas State University this May with a Bachelor’s degree in Food Science. She is not done competing athletically for the Wildcats however, she is currently preparing to complete her fifth and final year on the K-State women’s rowing team as a first-year graduate student.
As a student at Skyline, Flowers was involved with volleyball, basketball and track, so it was a bit of an adjustment for her to learn the ins and outs of rowing, but she said she liked the challenge.
“Kind of how rowing recruitment works, especially for K-State is that they try to recruit in-state,” Flowers said. “It’s just a little easier for the coaches to recruit girls that are hard workers coming out of high school and who played a couple sports or have some sort of involvement. That shows that they’re willing and capable to do the hard work that needs to be done.”
After filling out a questionnaire that was sent to her, she indicated that she would be willing to try rowing out, saying, “Why not try it? I fell in love with it.”
Flowers said that she instantly became friends with the women on her rowing team, and it was that bond that reinforced her commitment to the sport.
The majority of the women on her team, Flowers said, were learning the sport right along with her since only a few women had prior experience, so it became a way for them to grow together as a team.
“We all were willing to learn and figure it out as we went,” Flowers said.
As the years began to pass, Flowers grew even more experienced in rowing and she began to accumulate scholarship money through her dedication to the sport.
“Coming in the first year, you don’t really expect anything from scholarships,” Flowers said. “But as you prove to the coaches that you’re going to work hard, that you’re going to keep up your grades and just do what they ask, you get more scholarships as time goes.”
Flowers said it was difficult to balance being a student and an athlete at times, but she continued to work hard and managed to secure a paid internship in Alabama. She worked there all summer in a flour-mill lab to test the quality and safety of the wheat before it goes out to customers.
“One of the times that I was definitely the most proud was this past season with rowing,” Flowers said. “We have a Sunflower Showdown which is against KU and we’ve been fighting really hard to bring the trophy back to Manhattan, and this year, it finally paid off.”
While the wins may feel rewarding and exciting, Flowers said that one of the greatest skills she has gained from being involved with athletics is time-management and self-discipline.
“Just being able to work on a schedule with things that could be changing daily,” Flowers said. “It’s also learning work-ethic, just learning how to work hard and get things done.”
Due to the valuable skills she learned throughout her undergraduate education, Flowers said there will be many opportunities for her future career path but until then, she plans to keep her options open and enjoy her final year of rowing and first year of graduate school at Kansas State University.