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Whelan '24 Chose His Own Path To Wisconsin

Whelan '24 Chose His Own Path To Wisconsin
John Nash

There was a point in his athletic career when Ben Whelan, just like his dad, found his way to a basketball court.

The call of the hardwood didn’t stick, however.

Instead, Whelan took his own path to the waters of a successful rowing career. Now, he’s taking his talents to the University of Wisconsin, where he will row for the Badgers come fall.

Whelan is one of the eight GFA Dragons who were recently feted during the school's annual early signing period commitment ceremony at the school.

“I visited Wisconsin in September and immediately loved the campus and city of Madison itself,” Whelan said. “I got to spend time with the guys on the team and see firsthand what their lives were like as student athletes. I saw the great facilities they have inside the football stadium and on the water. I really liked the coaching staff, specifically the new head coach who is a former Olympic champion. I am excited to learn from him and see where he takes the program.”

Whelan has been competing with the highly competitive Saugatuck Rowing Club program, which has put together a very successful 8+ Boat this fall.

“Ben has been a large driving factor in our success as a team,” said Dave Grossman, Saugatuck’s Director of Rowing and Head Junior Boys Coach. “Ben is a hard worker and very determined with his goals. I am very excited for him to continue rowing on the D1 level at the University of Wisconsin. Ben has left a lasting impact on our team, and I can't wait for him to continue his passion in college.”

Wisconsin’s passion was something Whelan noticed immediately, as well.

“The school had a very strong sense of spirit for themselves and all the different sports going on, and it felt like a community I would want to be a part of,” he said. “The school also has a very strong real estate program which is what I am planning on studying. I’m very excited to continue my athletic and academic career at Wisconsin!”