Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

Parker Illingworth’s triumphs with Texas and Canada in the Collegiate and International World

Courtesy of Texas Athletics

After winning back-to-back national titles for Texas in 2021 and 2022 and earning gold and bronze for Team Canada at the 2023 Pan American Games, senior Parker Illingworth’s rowing career is rife with success.

The road to international and collegiate success, however, was a climb for Illingworth.

Inspired by her mother who rowed competitively at the University of Washington, Illingworth began rowing early on at the age of 12 and ignited her own passion for the sport.

“I was very young and instantly loved the sport,” Illingworth said.

She continued her love for rowing and began competing at Pocock Rowing Center in Seattle, Washington where she reached a high level of success, finishing third in the women’s V8 in the 2017 Northwest Regionals and becoming a two-time champion at the NW Ergomania Indoor Rowing Championships.

Illingworth learned to overcome adversity from her time in the Northwest, rowing year-round in heavy rain and snow, which instilled a feeling of resilience into her.

“You become tough rowing here,” Illingworth said.

Transitioning to Texas was a shift for Illingworth, leaving her team in the Pacific Northwest and acclimating herself with the rowing team here at Texas.

“Everyone at Texas wanted to be there,” Illingworth said. “That was special coming in and being part of a team that was so driven to win the national championship.”

In her first season on the Forty Acres, Illingworth and the rest of the rowing team reached the top of Division I rowing, winning the 2021 National Championship.

“My first year to come into that team and join in that energy and then go on to win a national title is insanely special,” Illingworth said.

The following season, Texas stayed on top, winning back-to-back NCAA titles, but, to Illingworth and her team, winning is not the only goal.

“We just wanted to maintain the legacy,” Illingworth said.

This year, Illingworth’s success has followed her once again, now transpiring at the international level, as she competed with Team Canada at the 2023 Pan American Games.

While transitioning to international competition can be difficult, Illingworth mentioned that competing here at Texas has prepared her to compete at the next level.

“Texas has provided me three years so far of really high-intensity training with the best people across the world,” Illingworth said. “We have a lot of international students that come in and the whole program is so competitive and the best of the best.”

At just 21 years old, Illingworth is one of the youngest members on the Canadian team and was able to help the team earn two medals at the games in Chile.

“I was probably one of the younger ones there, so to be able to compete at that level at my age is special,” Illingworth said.

She will rejoin Texas for her senior season in January in preparation for the spring. That begins with a scrimmage from March 23-24 against Southern Methodist University.

“I’m so excited to come in the spring and hopefully elevate the level of performance and joining in on the team,” Illingworth said. “I’m super pumped.”

More to Discover