Although she’s only a sophomore, Dana Kistler has already discovered the passions that will propel her through high school. With one very unique sport and another that entails a close team environment, Dana is set to excel in both golf and crew for the rest of her high school career.
Dana’s interest in athletics began the summer after graduating middle school. Although there were a few worries and confusions about what activities to take part in her freshman year, these were instantly solved when she took the plunge to sign up for a summer camp.
“I did one of the summer camps for rowing, and I immediately liked it,” Dana said. “I really liked being on the water every night. I’m not exactly sure what it is, but I guess it’s something about how hard it was and how dedicated you had to be. It made me want to prove myself more.”
Even on her first year as a rower on the novice team, Dana and her team showed incredible talent. Their strength, passion, and cooperation landed them first place in states. Although their achievement was undoubtedly due to hours of practice, they were also able to excel because of the camaraderie between teammates.
“My rowing team last spring was really nice to be with,” Dana said. “They were all very supportive and dedicated, and they all really pushed themselves.”
While Dana was continuously improving her rowing in the spring, she was surrounded by her family who enjoyed an entirely different sport: golf. For as long as she can remember, both her parents and her older brother have enjoyed playing golf.
“Most of my family is really into golf,” Dana said. “For so many years, they were playing and practicing. They’ve gotten up to this point where golf is easier to them but still takes a lot of skill and practice, especially mastering the swing.”
Eventually, Dana decided to try golf out for herself to understand her family’s love for the sport. From the first time she stepped onto the green with a club in her hands, she felt the calmness and content that comes with the sport.
“When I first tried golf, I just wanted to see what [my family’s hype] was about,” Dana said. “But actually, it was very relaxing and nice to cool off. Coming from a stressful place like school, it was nice to try something that wasn’t so hardcore. Golf seems very periodical, and I think that I like that more.”
Her natural flair for golf was apparent, as she was selected for the JV golf team in the fall of her freshman year. With much success, she is hoping to continue and improve herself in this unique sport.
With both of these sports, it’s apparent that Dana will be kept busy for both of her years as an upperclassman. Crew is an intense, team sport complete with both mental and physical strength; while golf is an individual sport that encompasses the calm and quiet. Although these sports are polar opposites, they are both the perfect sports for Dana.
“Rowing made my freshman year,” Dana said. “It was just so much fun with all my teammates and pushing myself the extra mile that I didn’t think I could. With golf this year, I’m hoping it’ll be the same way.”