OSAWATOMIE — When Kylee Barnett talks about taking on new challenges, she means it.
Barnett, an Osawatomie High School senior, heard about opportunities to join a rowing team in college.
She filled out online recruiting forms for a pair of Kansas rowing rivals in Kansas State University and the University of Kansas.
It did not take Kansas State long to make sure they had Barnett on their program.
“Two hours after filling out the forms I had a text message from Kansas State,” she said. “Coach said we want to talk to you, we want you on our team.”
Barnett signed a national letter of intent to join the Kansas State rowing team and compete at the NCAA Division I level.
“I got in touch with the coaches and learned more about it,” Barnett said. “I thought I could see myself doing that and enjoy it. As the process went on, I decided that was something I wanted to do.”
Barnett is a three-sport athlete for Osawatomie, competing on the Miami County girls swim team, the Lady Trojans volleyball team and the Osawatomie basketball team.
Barnett, 5-10, is a post player on the basketball team. It was her height that led people to suggest rowing to her.
“I had heard about rowing over the years,” Barnett said. “People said you could row in college, you are tall, it would be a good fit.
“I was not planning on doing athletics in college, but this opportunity came along,” she said. “I am very grateful for it.”
Not many high schools have a rowing program, so rowing is not just going to be new for Barnett, but the entire recruiting class of 2021.
“I have never done rowing before,” Barnett said. “But none of the other girls have either, so we are all just going in there to learn.
“I am just excited for the experiences I am going to make there,” she said. “I am so excited for the chance to compete in college.”
Barnett plans on getting a master’s degree in athletic training, and then attending school for physical therapy.
Kylee is the daughter of Josh and Liz Barnett of Osawatomie.
Joining her at the signing were her sisters Libby and Macy, and grandparents Greg and Linda Barnett of Paola.