Gophers Unite to "Conquer the Bank" for Many Reasons
The rowing team ran the stairs at TCF Bank Stadium Friday night.

Nov. 22, 2011

The University of Minnesota women's rowing team was searching for a way to create both school spirit and team unity in a way it had not done before, and found its solution when it "Conquered the Bank" Friday night at TCF Bank Stadium.

The Gophers' varsity and novice squads, along with the Minnesota men's club rowing team, ran every stair at the on-campus football stadium under the lights, before finishing up at the 50-yard line.

"Running the stairs at TCF Bank Stadium was a humbling experience--not just athletically, but also because the stadium's grandeur reminds us that we are part of something bigger than ourselves: Gopher Athletics, the University and our communities," team captain Molly Kalmoe said. "Sprinting up and down flights of concrete on a Friday night probably does not sound enjoyable, but when you think of it as an opportunity for excellence rather than an obligation, it becomes incredibly fun. We had a lot of fun running those stairs!"

The squad also had another, bigger, reason to run the stairs at TCF Bank Stadium. Not only did it build team unity in an athletic capacity, but the event also brought the team together for a bigger cause. Some student-athletes wore shirts with the slogan "I BELiEVE," which represents their unity as a teammate's father battles cancer. The shirts also show support for anyone who has ever been affected by cancer in any way.

"As a team, we have taken the opportunity during this difficult time to show our support to our rower's family and to every family out there who is fighting," assistant coach Andy Foltz said. "We want to tell them that we are fighting along-side of them to find a cure."

The non-profit organization, "I BELiEVE," which works in conjunction with the non-profit organization "Coaches vs. Cancer," was started two years ago. By selling t-shirts with the word "believe" on them, the organization has raised over $60,000 for research aimed at finding a cure for cancer.



This year, the organization designed gray shirts with a maroon and gold ribbon, which are available for purchase. The shirts cost only $10 apiece, with half of the proceeds going directly to cancer research.

For more information on ordering an I BELiEVE t-shirt, please contact Andy Foltz at



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