Grace McGinley Awarded National Title

By: Alexandra Sprouls ’19

The title of National Junior Rower of the Year was given to one of Staples’ own, Grace McGinley ’17. She was nominated among some of the best rowers in the country and managed to pull out the win.

Despite this major award, McGinley remains humble. In order to win, she needed to have the greatest amount of supporters or votes, “I was really surprised by just how many people were willing to help out and vote for me during the entire process… It was so nice” McGinley said.

To become a nominee for the award, an application has to be filled out, generally by the rower asking for the award. But in McGinley’s case, her friend applied for her which made it even more surprising for her to be considered for the esteemed title of National Junior Rower of the Year.

“Add that to the fact that all the other nominees were so impressive: I never saw it coming.” McGinley said.

Her previous rowing accomplishments have led to her now rowing in the first varsity boat for the Saugatuck Rowing Club. This boat boasts winning The Head of the Charles Regatta for three years in a row and has also been undefeated for two and a half years.

The team can’t wait to continue their success, “We’re already training for the spring, where we’re hoping to win our third national championship in a row. The team is amazing and I’m just so glad to be a part of it” McGinley said.

Just this summer, McGinley spent two week overseas to prepare with the USRowing Junior National Team for the World Rowing Junior Championship in the Netherlands.

McGinley rows with her sister, Kelsey McGinley and they seem to enjoy their time together on the boat.

“[Kelsey’s] really fast, so it’s always a plus to have her in the boat too. It’s fun to have her as a teammate, since for both of us, the sport and the training comes before any sister bickering or whatever we have going on” McGinley shared.

While she started rowing in 6th grade to stay in shape for basketball, her main sport at the time, she realized she enjoying it more and decided to commit fully to the sport and join the Saugatuck Rowing Club’s competitive rowing team.

“I was nominated for all the work I did, though, because that’s what ultimately lead to the accomplishment” McGinley said.