Four loves have stayed true to Brownstown Central’s Olivia Goecker her entire life: family, athletics, academics and Indiana University.

On Wednesday, all four of those came together for one special day.

Surrounded by friends and family, Goecker signed to Indiana University’s rowing team in Brownstown Central’s trophy room.

Growing up, Goecker always knew she wanted to attend IU. However, the most difficult facet for her was making an NCAA Division I team for the Hoosiers.

A standout athlete for the Braves, Goecker’s competitive nature wanted to pursue track in college.

The opportunity to row presented itself to Goecker by non-traditional means.

“I was actually on the recruiting website for track and wasn’t getting many offers,” Goecker said. “I wanted to be involved in athletics when going to school. So then IU contacted me through their rowing and I went over and talked about it while they showed me around.”

Goecker, who had only rowed for the first time in February, had the drive and tools to be successful at rowing — something the coaches recognized immediately.

“I’ve always wanted to go to IU, it’s always been one of my dreams,” Goecker said. “When I decided I might run, I wasn’t sure if I was going to go to IU. Once this opportunity came I thought that this was my chance.

“I think it’s a great opportunity. I’ve always been a Hoosier fan. I’m going to be able to represent my favorite school as an athlete there which is a big thing for me.”

While Goecker has little experience rowing, she said she’s feels that it mimics track. The senior currently holds the record in the hurdles for the Braves, and compared it to her top event.

“It’s kind of similar to track, you need to have endurance and a rhythm,” Goecker said. “Like when I do hurdles, it’s a constant endurance.”

This fall, Goecker will start practicing with the rowing team on Lake Lemon outside of Bloomington in preparation for the season in the spring.

Olivia’s parents, Dave and Mandy Goecker, weren’t surprised when their daughter took interest in rowing.

“Olivia has always been a girl who goes out there and tries something new and seems to always be great at it,” Mandy Goecker said. “She’s just one of those girls that can pick something up fast and go with it. She loves being athletic. If she sets her mind to something she will accomplish it.”

“She’s just always wanted to go to IU since she was in second or third grade,” Dave Goecker added. “That’s her dream.”

With a 4.06 cumulative grade point average, Goecker plans on studying speech pathology at Indiana.

“We’re more proud of the academics than her going to play the sport,” Mandy Goecker said. “It’s a bonus. She’s very intelligent. Not only does she work hard in athletics but always in academics as well. She’s a very well-rounded young lady.”

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Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.