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The UltraViolet

Marlborough School Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Eight graders begin training in the sport of crew, which has typically attracted upper school students

Middle school students have  recently  had  an  increased presence  in  the  sport  of  rowing. Four  eighth  graders  have  joined CYC,  the  California  Yacht  Club, and  are  beginning  the  sport  at  an earlier age than in the past.

Eighth  graders  Sophia,  Genevieve,  and Daphne  and  Marielle  are all  active  members  of  CYC’s novice  rowing  team,  and  joined the sport for a variety of different reasons.

Crew  club  advisor  Tom Millar  said  that  this  large  group of  middle  school  students  joining crew  is  unusual,  and  credits  the increase to word of mouth.  “Some  eighth  graders  have rowed  or  coxed  in  past  years, but  no  more  than  1­2  per  year,” he  said.  “It’s  not  a  sport  that  has organized  competitions  for  8th graders.”

The strenuous nature of crew has  made  it  a  more  ideal  sport for  older  athletes,  because  it  is  so physically  demanding.  Younger, less  mature,  athletes  are  at  a disadvantage  due  to  their  smaller

“When  you’re  rowing  in smaller  boats  against  older children,  it  pays  to  be  bigger,”  Millar said.

Although  it  doesn’t  take  much  experience  to  join  a  club  crew  team, others  say  it’s  better  to start earlier.

“Novice  rowers  practice  two  to  three  times  a  week,  with  less  of  an emphasis  on  endurance  and  more  on  the  techniques  of  crew. This gives the younger athletes an  opportunity to decide if they wish later  to  pursue  it  more  seriously,”  said  Marlborough  parent  and  CYC coach Nick Harding.

Having played volleyball and  soccer in the past, Daphne ‘14  joined crew  because  she  was  less  likely  to  get  injured  in  crew  than  in  other  contact  sports.  Sophia,  on  the  other  hand,  was  driven  by  her  love  of  boats  and
the feeling of being on the water.

Over the last couple of years,  a  growing  number  of  upper  school  students have  joined  crew  because of the equalizing qualities
of the sport. No one needs to join  with much experience, and no one sits  on  the  sidelines.  The  fun  and camaraderie  of  crew  as  well  as the  prospect  of  scholarships  has drawn many older girls to join.

Since  there  are  no  cuts  for crew, many girls join with little or no  experience  and  progress  with other members of the team.

“Crew  gives  young  women an edge on the college admissions process,” said Harding. “There are many  scholarships  available  for rowers  nationwide.  It  should  be noted however, that only the most committed  and  physiologically gifted  of  those  girls  who  try  their hand  at  the  sport  are  going  to be  actively  recruited  by  college rowing programs.”

Fourth  year  rower  Grace ‘10  said  teamwork  and camaraderie  have  prompted  her active participation on the team.

“The team is really close and fun  to  be  around,”  Grace  said. “It’s an honest sport, you get what you  give.  Because  of  crew  I  feel
that  I  am  more  hard­working  and persistent.”

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