In April of 2016, Jessica Hyne, Arizona State - Pi Zeta, compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials in the Rowing competition in Sarasota, Florida, after which she traveled to the Netherlands, Slovenia and England to gain international racing experience representing the lightweight United States Rowing Team.
Although she won't be representing the United States in Rio this year, Jessica will continue training through 2020. "This summer (post-trials)," she said, "I went to Europe for a month and had the opportunity to race in some of the world's most well-known regattas. At the 61st International Regatta in Bled, Slovenia, I came in second at Lake Bled, bringing home a Silver medal to the States. At this regatta, I represented San Diego Rowing Club."
Jessica's journey from collegian and President of the Pi Zeta Chapter at Arizona University to this moment has been an arduous and rewarding one.
With a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Wellness, Jessica plans to be a Physician's Assistant and continue to develop her companies, Hyne Sight Fitness and Running the World.
Coming from the small town of Verdi, Nevada, Jessica was athletic and devoted to her family when she began attending Arizona State Universities. "I needed something that would help me find a home in a place that was far away from my hometown and big," she said. "I looked online at the universities club sports and I came across rowing. I wrote to the coach, telling him how I am an avid runner and I think I qualified for this sport. He soon wrote back and told me where to report my first week at ASU."
Jessica was thrilled to find a home in the Pi Zeta Chapter of Delta Zeta at Arizona State. "Growing up with five older sisters, I wanted a safe place where I could find comfort during this big adventure ahead, as well as share the memories of it with friends I could call my sisters to enrich the experience."
At Arizona State, Jessica rowed for ASU's Club Rowing Team for two-and-a-half years into her junior year. "I learned how to scull, rowing with two oars instead of one," she said. Because the rowing was not the main focus in a university program, Jessica too one semester of to master this type of rowing and train full time in to make the Under 23 USA Team. "Many people questioned my decision," Jessica said, "but I knew that I was doing the right thing in my heart. One thing that being in a sorority has taught me is that everyone's journey is different and that is what makes us unique and unstoppable."
After training in San Diego, Jessica headed to Philadelphia to train in an Under 23 Development Camp for the U23 World Championship Trials. "That was the summer I truly fell in love with rowing and I saw what it actually takes to be an elite caliber athlete. That was who I wanted to be and nothing was going to stop me. My boat did not make the USA Team that summer, but it was the first step of many in the right direction."
Jessica returned to ASU, training alone six days a week as she finished junior and senior level assignments, attended sorority events, and ran her wellness company. "In my junior year, I attended the World University Games Trials in the single at the Oklahoma Olympic Training Center and was one spot away from going," she said. "Soon after that same year, I went to the Pan American Games Trials, again in a single, and I learned a lot. After both of these races, I got into the Vesper Summer U23 Rowing Program in Philadelphia to try to make a team boat for trials. It was not in my favor because it was decided not to send any lightweights."
Jessica trained for two weeks at Lake Carnegie, a short drive from where the 2015 Under 23 World Championship Trials would be held. "That summer was the biggest learning experience for me because not only did I gain speed," she said, "but I almost lost one of my five older sisters just a few days leading up to trials. If anything has given me strength, it was that specific moment in my life. I received so much love and many prayers from friends all over the country, and specifically from my sorority sisters. That is when I realized how blessed I am, and how anyone can overcome trials and tribulations through faith and family."
When she raced that week, she made it to finals. Crossing the finish line in the last 500 meter sprint of her last race, "I was exactly where I was supposed to be at that exact moment in time" Jessica said. "Life is about the journey, not the finish line."
When Jessica returned to school in the fall, she became the President of the Pi Zeta Chapter ASU. "I had one of the best and hardest semesters of my college career," she said. "I always wanted this responsibility and I never thought I could because of rowing. When I did hold the position, I worked hard for the Sorority leading up to graduation and I wouldn't have changed it for the world."
After graduation, Jessica went to San Diego to train full time for rowing and accepted an internship with a doctor to work toward becoming a Physician's Assistant. "Through my experiences at ASU, learning a new sport, being President of