It’s unusual for two sisters from the small town of Ketchum to attend colleges 3,000 miles apart, compete in crew and wind up at the same NCAA Championship rowing competition staged recently in Indiana.
That’s what happened to Kayla Cloud of Wesleyan Uni-versity and Chelsea Cloud of University of Puget Sound dur-ing the 2014 NCAA Rowing Championships May 30-June 1 at the Indianapolis (Ind.) Row-ing Center at Eagle Creek Park.
Both are Community School graduates, Kayla in 2010 and Chelsea in 2011. Both played basketball and soccer at the Sun Valley independent school.
Their parents are Tracy Dooley-Cloud of Ketchum and Jack Cloud of Albuquerque, N.M.
Kayla Cloud, 22, graduated from Wesleyan in Middletown, Ct. on May 25 with a double major in English and Spanish. Last spring she was chosen as an All-American by the College Rowing Coaches Association.
This season, Kayla was sen-ior co-captain and first-team All-NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Confer-ence) pick for the Cardinal var-sity eight that qualified for the NCAA Division 3 Champion-ships for the first time since 2001—and for only the third time in school annals.
At Indianapolis, Kayla Cloud’s varsity eight placed fifth in the Grand Final scoring behind overall team winner Trinity (Ct.) College, second-place Williams, third-place Wellesley and fourth-place Bates. It was a major feat for Wesleyan, considering the Cardinals hadn’t made the NCAA finals in 13 years.
Father Jack Cloud said about his daughter’s college rowing background, “Kayla tried out for crew through new friends she made at Wesleyan and has excelled. Her sister followed suit when she went off to University of Puget Sound.
“The physical challenge and competition has really suited them. They both have been tops on their team ERG (ergometers, indoor rowing) tests, as anyone who has been at the YMCA when they’re home over school breaks can attest to.”
Chelsea Cloud, 20, is major-ing in Physical Therapy at Puget Sound.
She was third seat for the Loggers crew team that placed eighth in the Division 3 cham-pionship regatta—and second behind William Smith of Ge-neva, N.Y. in the Petit Final that determined the seventh- and eighth-place crews.
It was the 12th consecutive NCAA Championship women’s crew trip for Puget Sound, based in Tacoma, Wash.
Jack Cloud said about the NCAA experience, “Kayla and Chelsea rowed against each other in the morning competi-tion. Getting bested by Bates and Wellesley meant they had to also row against each other in the afternoon Repechage.”
There was a chance that Wesleyan and Puget Sound would meet in the Petit Final, but the William Smith Herons “caught a crab” that stalled their momentum in the Re-pechage qualifier—which meant Wesleyan snuck into the Grand Final.
“They both had a great expe-rience,” said Jack Cloud about his daughters’ NCAA visit. “They were good races, and they were both proud of each other and their respective teams.”