Crew Team Prepares For Fall Regattas 

A doubles shell represents Northwood at the 2019 New York State Championships (photo: Caroline Harrison ’22).

Northwood’s crew team is not considered one of the “big three” programs at Northwood—those being soccer, hockey, and alpine ski racing. That isn’t to say it doesn’t have pedigree, however. 

David Garvey ‘22, who rowed at Northwood for two years, recently made the D1 team at Hobart College as a freshman. This year, Northwood’s roster of rowers has experienced some losses. Two of the top athletes from last year, Garvey and Caroline Harrison ‘22, both graduated and are now pursuing the sport at a higher level. Returning athletes make up only about half of the team this year. Those returners are Amanda Nelson ‘23, Christie-Ann Nelson, ‘23, Ashley Guevara ‘24, Colin Kis ‘24, and Gus Garvey ‘25. In addition to the returners, 4 new crew athletes have joined to try their hand in the sport. Those are Jesse Schoch ‘25, Sophia Sherman ‘25, Hung Nguyen ‘25, and Avery Novia ‘24.  

One thing that is of concern to many new crew athletes is the steep learning curve that comes with rowing a shell. First, the mechanics are difficult to get right. Every little detail has to be perfect in order to move the boat forward. Furthermore, the boats are not very sturdy, and are supported by keeping one or both of the long oars in the “feather” position—that is, flat along the surface of the water to cover the most surface area. This is in addition to the fact that any major mistake usually results in the boat flipping, sending the rower into Mirror Lake, joining springtime whitewater athletes as members of the (unofficial) Northwood swim team.  

It’s definitely harder than I expected it to be,” said Sophia Sherman ‘25. “Just learning to balance and coordinate your oars is a challenge. Although I haven’t had much time for it either, I’m excited to get to fully learn the sport”.  

However, there are many variables when it comes to training. Rain and wind sometimes keep athletes off the water. Alternative training involves endurance training, through running and machine workouts on the ergometers in the Fitness Center. In addition, new athletes who are uneasy about the conditions can usually ask to run instead, at coach Howard “H” Runyon’s discretion.  

Jesse Schoch ‘25 commented, “I find it to be pretty fun. I would like to be out in the boats more, but it’s cool. I’m not feeling ready for races yet, though.” All of the novice rowers this year seem to be enjoying themselves, and the only athlete who has actually fallen into the lake so far is a returner.  

“I fell into the water because my oar lock was loose and came out.” said Colin Kis ‘24, who rowed for the Huskies last season. “During the capsizing when I was in the water, all I was thinking about was that I wanted to get out of the water and back into the boat as soon as possible,” he said. It was his first time falling in, but he didn’t seem too rattled by it. All he reported was a bit of soreness the next day, as he treaded water for over 30 minutes whilst trying to climb back into the shell.  

The crew team will have two races this fall. One is coming up on Saturday, September 24th. It takes place on the Fish Creek of Saratoga Springs, in a regatta known as the Tail of the Fish. The other, also in Saratoga Springs, is called the Head of the Fish, which occurs in late October and will be on the same course as the September race.  


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