MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2011
Alachua’s Welch signs women’s rowing letter of intent
The Jacksonville University women’s rowing team has begun solidifying its roster for next season by signing Jules Welch to a national letter of intent.

Welch, from High Springs, Fla., was a two-sport star at Alachua Santa Fe High School as she participated in both rowing, which she only took up as a junior, and volleyball.

On the water, Welch is the women’s varsity captain in her senior season and posted a 6k split time of 2:06.4 and has been the FSRA 4+ open state champion in her short career. She also was a gold and silver medal winner in the U.S. Southeast Regionals was a U.S. Rowing national qualifier along with being a U.S. Junior Women’s National Team Developmental invitee and was named Most Valuable Rower and Most Improved Rower at Santa Fe.

In volleyball, she was a three-year starter and averaged seven points a game as a junior when she recorded 120 blocks and 170 kills. In a six-year junior career, Welch totaled 900 blocks, 600 kills and 480 points for Gainesville. Santa Fe was a three-time district champion, Sweet 16 and Elite 8 team during his tenure. She also was a USA Volleyball Junior Olympic qualifier.

“Jules is an outstanding student and athlete and has accomplished a great deal in the time she has been rowing,’’ women’s coach Kris Muhl said. “Coach (Mike) Peterson and I feel she will excel here and complement the existing team. She will also bring some fresh blood to the program and enhance the team’s work ethic and drive. She understands that she will have the tools she needs to get faster and row better and take it as far as she wants to go.’’

Not only are the Dolphins getting a first-class rower, but Welch also excels in the classroom.

A three-time scholar-athlete, Welch, whose proposed major is marine science, is a Presidential Award winner and a member of the Honor Society. She plans on attending graduate school after getting her degree.

“Jules is looking to receive a terrific education at JU,’’ Muhl said. “Her family is great and we welcome her to the JU family.’’