Rowing off to a better College career

People will do some amazing things in order to do what they love. This is especially true in the sports world, as most athletes need to maintain a high level of commitment and put in some long hours in order to stay competitive. Sitting perhaps at the top of this pyramid of sports dedication is a competition rarely discussed between Olympic Games: rowing.

The College’s club crew team can count themselves among those who are truly dedicated to their craft. The team meets early each morning (not typical college early either, but four in the morning early) for practice, which is quite the start to the day.

“We always get to see the sunrise over the boathouse,” said senior Emily Petra, the club’s president. “It’s very motivational.”

The crew team is one of the College’s club sports, so the members fundraise ‘more than you can ever imagine’ to keep it going strong. (Photo courtesy of the crew team)

The dedication doesn’t stop with the pre-sunrise practices, either. Since the team is a club sport, the members do their parts to keep the group going financially (the club does receive funding from the Student Finance Board and club sports).

“We fundraise more than you can ever imagine,” said senior Amy Bachman, the club’s treasurer. “(All said), crew has been a large component of my college career.”

“It really helped me with time management,” Petras said. “When you have less free time you need to learn to do your work on time, especially since you have to get up early.”

Their hard work has been paying off recently. The club competed in the Knecht Cup on the weekend of April 13th, a larger regatta (the term for rowing races), featuring teams from Bryn Mawr, Rutgers and Washington College.

“Over the years we’ve gotten much stronger,” Petras said. “We used to race at smaller regattas, but now we compete in larger regattas because we can be competitive in them.”

Competitive indeed. The women’s varsity four team, which includes Petras, Bachman, Brianne Verhoog, junior Emily Davis and coxswain sophomore Jillian Moran, won the grand final of the regatta’s Women’s Varsity Four-Division III races. The club’s Novice Women’s eight also took home gold.

“We’re really excited about our win, there’s nothing like it,” Bachman said. “It’s exciting to see all that time and effort pay off.”

The gold rewarded the team for all its hard work, including early mornings.

“After all that fundraising and getting up early, (winning) was worth it,” Petras said.

The club next plans to compete at the Dad Vail Regatta on the famous Boathouse Row on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11.

They also hope to recruit some new members, encouraging all interested students, whether they have rowing experience or not, to join in on a sport guaranteed to whip your body into shape.

“It’s a lot of work,” Bachman said, “But everyone on the team is in really good shape, rowing is a full-body workout.”

But perhaps the most intriguing part about joining a crew team isn’t the personal gain, but the true team spirit the sport requires.

“You can’t go in crew for you, which is what I like about it,” Bachman said. “It’s a really intense sport, but you’re doing it for the people in your boat, it isn’t just about you.”

Any interested students should contact tcnjcrew@gmail.com to learn more.