Jefferson crew hopes for success next season

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The women's first varsity boat prepares to race at the Stotesbury Cup on May 17.

After a season of vigorous training, lineup changes and injuries, spring for the Jefferson’s crew team came to an end with the top men’s boats advancing to the Scholastic Rowing Association of America (SRAA) National Championship on May 25.

Rowing in Camden, N.J., the men’s first varsity boat placed 11th nationally, second varsity placed 7th and junior varsity placed 11th in each of their categories.

In addition, the week before, on May 17, the varsity boats went up to the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania to compete for the Stotesbury Cup.

Despite the goal of receiving medals, none of the boats were able to place in the finals. 

“I’m a little disappointed because I feel like we had the potential to do better this year,” said sophomore Nick Zugris, who rows for the second varsity boat.

The season was rough as athletes had to juggle strenuous training with injured teammates and the complication of several experienced seniors deciding not to row for their last year.

“Without the core strength our team typically has, we weren’t nearly as successful as anyone would have hoped this spring would have been,” said senior Emily Bartlett, who is one of the captains of the women’s boats.

However, as their goal remains to receive medals at big championships, such as Stotesebury and Nationals, rowers are also looking for ways to improve, both mentally and physically.

“I think we need to mentally condition our team better,” Zugris said. “I feel like some people give up during a race when they we’re losing and we can never recover from that.”

In addition, Bartlett believes that for next year, especially for the women’s boats, athletes should work harder during the off season to maximize their potential.

“In the words of my coach, it was a learning year for us,” she said. “We had three sophomores on the first varsity boat and more on the second varsity. We were young and relatively inexperienced as a whole but that only means we’ll be stronger in years to come.”

The graduating seniors will miss the experiences they had rowing on the river with their fellow teammates as they depart for college.

“Crew was a huge part of my high school career,” Bartlett said. “Meeting so many amazing people from the class of 2010 to the class of 2016 was definitely a high point.”