Everyday Champion: Devery Karz
Oct. 26, 2009
Since her arrival at Oregon State, senior Devery Karz has worked her way up the rowing ladder. After lettering in cross and country and track and field at Park City (Utah) High School, Karz entered the Oregon State novice rowing program as a freshman. Since then, she has worked her way up to the varsity level and helped the Varsity 8+ crew qualify for the NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships last season. Following her junior year, Karz qualified for the U23 Women’s Rowing World Championships in Prague and earned a silver medal in the lightweight women's quadruple sculls.
Her success doesn't end in the boats; however, as the senior earned Academic All Pac-10 Conference honors last season. A communications major, Karz travel the globe after graduation and help out with the Oregon State rowing program in “any way possible.”
As this week's 'Everyday Champion,' Karz took some time to sit down with osubeavers.com to discuss her career and future.
Talk a little bit about you decision to attend Oregon State…
I’m from Park City, Utah and so I came to Oregon State to escape the cold and to experience a new culture and a new university. I came here on a football game day and it was just an awesome feeling, and I thought it would be a really fun place to come to school.
You ran cross country in high school, why did you choose to get into rowing at college?
I choose rowing because in high school I ran for four years and I was looking for an athletic outlet and rowing was that outlet. It’s something that I have come to love.
What was it like qualifying and then medaling in the U23 World Championships?
This summer my coach told me about a few camps I could do to improve my rowing and I chose one that allowed me to qualify for the national team. I was able to qualify for the national team and then went to the trials which qualified us to go to the Czech Republic. When I got there it was the most amazing feeling competing against France, Germany and Italy. Having the opportunity to compete against some of the best in the world and winning the silver medal was something so amazing, words cannot really describe it.
What surprised you about Oregon State when you got here?
The sense of community here. It’s a big campus and when you walk around you can still see someone you know from the basketball team or the rowing teams, soccer teams etc. The athletic program has given me my own sense of community. I am from out of state and didn’t know anyone when I came here so it’s really helped.
Talk a little bit about how you have changed since your freshman year…
I have become more determined, more driven to get things done. I have had the opportunity to do things I’ve not been able to do before and I think a lot of that is due to rowing. My coaches have given me a lot of tools and skills to become a better student, athlete and person.
What does a scholarship mean to you?
Having a scholarship has kept me here. Because of the economy and rising tuition I wouldn’t have been able to continue to go to school here. So, it means and education for me and has given me a world of opportunities.
What’s it like rowing for Coach Ford?
The coaches have been fantastic. They are there for you emotionally, athletically and help you set goals outside and inside of rowing, They set a standard for you so you can help hold a standard for yourself. I really couldn’t imagine rowing with anyone else.
Will you stay involved with Oregon State after graduation?
I will definitely stay involved, whether it’s helping with the new boathouse project or helping with the incoming novices. I want to do whatever I can do to help this program grow.
Why did you choose to become a communications major?
Because I like people, I enjoy talking and conversing with them. I enjoy cultural communication the most, which is why I have a minor in Spanish and Chinese. I really like getting to know people from different cultures and figuring out how they work. Hopefully, I’ll be able to travel with my degree.
Why did you choose to study Chinese?
I always studied the Roman languages and wanted to try something different. I thought it would be fantastic to broaden my knowledge of languages and it is a very interesting language. There are so many countries that speak some form of Mandarin. Learning it will really give me the chance to communicate with a wide range of people.
How have you been able to balance the life of a student-athlete?
Being a student athlete takes a lot of time and effort, but our program offers us a lot of opportunities such as tutoring, study tables and computer labs, so that really helps me stay on top of all my work. As long as I’m organized, I’m usually able to stay on top of things.