May 27, 2008
Ford Heiner is a senior on the Clemson rowing team. She is a member of the Varsity 8+ crew that will be competing at the NCAA Championships this weekend. Recently, Clemsontigers.com caught up with Ford to get to know her a little better.
When did you begin rowing? How did you become interested in the sport?
I began rowing in ’99 when I was in eighth grade. I didn’t know much about the sport but a friend of mine encouraged me to do a camp with her and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Why did you choose to come to Clemson?
I chose Clemson because of the school. I fell in love with the campus and its traditions. I didn’t want to choose a school based on rowing, so I found a place I liked and didn’t decide I was going to walk-on to the team until I got to campus in August.
What is your favorite Clemson tradition?
Howard’s Rock–We have our own at the boathouse.
What is your favorite part of being a member of the Clemson rowing team?
The amazing women that make up this program.
What is the most memorable moment of your rowing career?
My most memorable moment would be this past weekend when we competed at the South/Central Regionals in my hometown of Oak Ridge, TN. My boat had a milestone performance against some of the top teams and in the country. We placed 2nd in our Semifinal behind Virginia and were the first Varsity 8+ boat to qualify for the Grand Finals at this race. It was especially memorable for me because we did it on my home course.
What has been the best part of this season?
Reaching a goal we’ve been working towards since this program started–the NCAA Championship.
What are you most looking forward to about the NCAA Championships?
Representing the rest of my teammates and Clemson Rowing Alumni
What are some of your hobbies?
I like art–painting, drawing, photography. I also enjoy being outdoors and hiking.
What is your favorite tv show?
Project Runway and American Gladiators
Who do you admire most on the team and why?
Blair Brendle because she has overcome many challenges in her time here and she always sets a good example to the rest of the team by always working hard and having a good attitude.
What has been your greatest accomplishment as a student athlete?
My success as a walk-on
Who has been the most influential person in your life?
I think my parents, all my coaches since I’ve started rowing, and my teammates have been very influential to me. They have all kept me going and pushed me to be the best I can.
What was your favorite class at Clemson?
Dr. Raymond’s Marketing Strategy
What is your best non-athletic talent?
Either my artistic talent or my ability to make animal noises
Something most people don’t know about me is……
That I was a debutante.
What is one thing you would like for people to know about the sport of rowing?
Most people think it’s an upper body sport, but the majority of your power comes from your legs. It’s a very challenging sport, both physically and mentally.
What are your plans for life after graduation?
I have just recently accepted an internship with Fox Sports South for Production and Marketing in Atlanta, GA.
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