After some tough senior departures from last season, both the girls and boys crew teams are looking for a successful season fueled by the new rowers stepping into leadership roles.
The girls team was hit the hardest of the two with the departures, as Abby Hier, Grace Cool, and Allison Radke graduated last year. Abby was far and away the fastest rower for the girls team, and the ladies will look for returning varsity rowers from last year to fill the void.
This season, the girls will look to senior captains Emily Briggs and Jayla Williams to help lead the team.
“We have a lot of talent on this team,” Jayla said, “but we also lose a lot of talent from last year’s team. We have worked super hard so far this season, and we are going to need to keep it up to have the successful season that we hope to have.”
The captains, as well as a strong supporting cast, make the varsity girls a very powerful team. They are joined by fellow seniors Grace Clinger and Lauren Gesik, juniors Sarah North, Kendra Wolffis, and Dana Kistler, and sophomore Alaina Briggs. Those eight will provide the girls team a very good nucleus to build off of.
“We’ve been working really hard these last two months,” Sarah said. “We’ve been having indoor practices with rowing machines, and that gets all of us into really good shape to get ready for the season. While it isn’t fun, it’s definitely worth all the work. We have to learn to row as a team instead of individuals like we’ve been doing these past months. The way I think we can have a good season is by working well together on and off the water.”
On the boys side, the team also loses a very good rower from last season to graduation in Evan Purcell but also returns some very strong rowers. Four of the fastest rowers in the area are stars for the boys in juniors Benny Kavara and Harry Hill, as well as seniors Tom Tomsheck and Mason Fors.
“We are very excited for the strong group that is moving up the ranks this season,” boys head coach Justin Ebert said. “Almost everyone returns for us, and some of them did significant training in the offseason.”
Last season, Tom pulled the fastest time in the open weight category in the team’s ergatta, where everyone competes individually indoors on rowing machines. Even though Tom pulled the best time last season, it will be very competitive for the boys team this season with many great rowers, including one of the fastest senior classes the team has ever had.
“I think it’s a good thing that we have competition,” Tom said. “In my opinion, it really makes us all better when we are pushing each other to be the best that we can be.
Both the girls and boys teams open the season this Saturday at home, taking on multiple teams in an indoor ergatta.