Committed Athletes Row Their Way to College

Photo from @saugatuckrowingandfitness Instagram page

Photo from @saugatuckrowingandfitness Instagram page

Photo from @saugatuckrowingandfitness Instagram page

By: Amanda Kaplowitz ’19

Hard work, dedication and commitment are traits required of almost every athlete in order to succeed in their sports. Rowing is no exception.

Members of the Saugatuck Rowing Club (SRC) practice year round, both in the water and on land, to train for recreational and competitive rowing. According to the Saugatuck Rowing website, “Numerous young athletes have not only experienced successful junior rowing careers but have been sought out by top universities.”

This is true for many Staples seniors at SRC who have chosen to continue rowing after high school. Some students have even been verbally committed since October.

Harry Burke ’18 is set to row at Harvard University. “[I chose it because] the team culture is great; the guys are amazing and the quality of coaching is very high […] On the other hand, I loved the area it was in and the academic opportunities it holds,” Burke said.

Similar to Burke, Brooke Schwab ’18 has been committed for a month now. Schwab will be attending Boston College next fall.

“Rowing is something that I see myself doing all throughout college because the sport is incredible,” Schwab said. “It is great to have teammates who are like sisters, and work hard together to achieve the same goal.”

Although Burke and Schwab have both been committed for a while, other seniors signed their national letters of intent earlier this month and had a slightly longer process.

“The process is stressful but exciting. You have to have an honest moment with yourself first, though, to really consider if it’s something you love enough to commit another four years to,” coxswain  Eden Schumer ’18, who is committed to Duke University, said.

Along with evaluating commitment, visiting the prospective college has also proven to be decisive in the decision process.

“I decided [on Stanford University] after visiting the campus in February with the coaches and the team,” Kelsey McGinley ’18 said. “I felt like the vibes of the campus matched up with my personality, and I loved everything they were about. I knew it was one of my top schools going into my visit, and my experience there just confirmed what I already knew.”

Each senior has had a unique experience choosing which school to row at and attend next fall, and younger team members seem to recognize this.

“I’m really proud of the seniors. I see them put so much effort into each and every practice and they have all worked so hard to get where they are right now,” Olivia Utter ’19, a teammate of the committed seniors, said. “I myself am hoping that I commit next year.”