March 20, 2013

Hausheer Eager for the Next Challenge

By Mike Humby

Growing up in Maitland, Fla., Greg Hausheer dabbled in several outdoor sports, including baseball and lacrosse.  But it wasn't until his sophomore year at Winter Park High School that his older sister Justine, who was a senior on the school's lightweight rowing team, convinced him to take on the challenge of her favorite sport.  Wanting to please his big sister, who eventually rowed at Princeton and remains one of his strongest role models, Hausheer quickly became immersed in this very competitive endurance sport.
Hausheer was enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Program at Winter Park when he competed on their nationally ranked rowing team, which has won more state championships that any other high school program in Florida.  He credits his high school rowing coach, Daniel Bertossa, for instilling him with the discipline and strong work ethic required to succeed on a championship team.   

Hausheer and his high school team traveled out of state to compete in some very prestigious rowing events, like the Stokesbury Cup Regatta and the SRRA Nationals.  Racing against the crew teams from the northern states was often a challenge for them, compared to rowing on the flat, warm waters of sunny Florida.   

Many people may not be too familiar with the interesting rules and restrictions involved in lightweight crew.  On the day of a competition, the boat average of all eight oarsmen must be 155 pounds, with no single oarsman weighing more than 160 pounds. 

"This aspect makes the racing in the lightweight league some of the most exciting and competitive you will ever see out of all collegiate rowing. With oarsmen at every school weighing the same, success in racing comes down to technical precision and execution of the race plan," Hausheer said.

Wanting to continue with the sport in college, Hausheer made the decision to attend Yale because he was so impressed with longtime rowing coach, Andy Card, who has been at the helm of the Bulldogs for 24 years.  

"Coach Card has a tremendous reputation here, and rowing for the Bulldogs was something I knew I wanted to do.  He is an athlete and competitor at heart and really creates a team culture where you want to win," Hausheer said.

Training for the team requires some intense workouts, including endurance work, interval training, sprint work and lifting.  Athletes use a rowing ergometer to measure their fitness levels.

Ranked high on Hausheer's list of Yale team memories was helping the Bulldogs capture the National Championship in 2011 and going on to race at the Henley Royal Regatta in England.  Hausheer shared this impressive achievement with current crew members, Thomas Swartz and Brendan Harrington, whom he describe as "fantastic boat mates and who each are able to motivate their teammates to develop into faster rowers."

Hausheer, an Eagle Scout, has never been one to shy away from a challenge.  He developed a high degree of self-reliance, love of the outdoors and interest in travel from his father, who also was an Eagle Scout.  Together they have taken many hiking trips throughout the U.S. and Europe.  Some of their most memorable adventures involved kayaking in the Pacific North West and hiking through the narrows of Zion National Park in Utah.  During college, Hausheer and four of his closest friends on the team have traveled to Prague, Dublin, and, this year, Istanbul, and plan to keep this tradition going.

"The education and life lessons you experience traveling abroad, especially on your own, is unmatched," Hausheer said.

Completing the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute in the summer of 2011 prepared Hausheer to get a taste of life outside the classroom.  As a result, he took a leave of absence from his studies and crew last year to focus on a number of independent projects, including working for a tech company in New York City.  The year off gave Hausheer the chance to learn more about the creative aspects of software development.

"My motivation for taking a year off was to gain real world experience working in the tech industry and to build a skill set.  Taking a year off to pursue an activity that interested me has been one of the best decisions I've ever made, and I think the process should be encouraged and more common," Hausheer said.   

The Silliman College resident was not concerned that being off campus would distract him or make it difficult to return to the lightweight team.

"I was not worried about picking the rowing back up when I returned.  I trusted in my coaches training regime and my fitness to carry me back to the intensity level where I left off," Hausheer said

A history major, Hausheer is determined to begin a career in software development and plans to work in either New York City or on the West Coast after graduation.   He recognizes his parents, Jonathan and Christine, and sister, Justine, for their support and encouragement throughout his successful college career.  Hausheer is also grateful for the many opportunities that rowing for Yale has created, especially the camaraderie and close friendships he has developed.    

The lessons Hausheer has learned as a member of the Yale men's lightweight crew should serve him well in his future life challenges.  As he says, "Rowing is a game of self-mastery.  It challenges you to discipline your mental and physical efforts and funnel that energy into an activity where success is clearly defined and progress can be measured."

 

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