Natalie McCarthy ’09

Paralympian in training

Natalie McCarthy Profile Photo
  • Personal


Natalie is from Steilacoom, WA where as a member of her high school track team she competed in the 100- and 200-meter dash and long jump. Unsure of her ability to compete at the Division III level of intercollegiate athletics, she took a friend’s suggestion and checked out rowing and found it to her liking. However, the first step to her becoming a successful rower was for PLU coach Tony Lawver and the team to embrace Natalie and make her feel welcome. Legally blind since the age of 10, the result of the removal of a type of brain tumor, Natalie quickly adapted to rowing. By paying attention to her surroundings, listening to others, and hours of practice, she nailed the rhythm and learned to assimilate with the other rowers. Crewing for PLU she raced eights, but as a Paralympic athlete-in-training she races 4 person shells.