Carlmont students row through the pandemic

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Marrisa Chow

Marrisa Chow, a sophomore, and her teammates row in a regatta.

One of the first sports in the Olympics, rowing, is a complex and demanding sport that many Carlmont students participate in.

Rowing is an aquatic sport where all rowers face the boat’s back while one person, the coxswain, faces the front and steers them in the right direction. 

There are two types of rowing, sweep rowing and sculling. In sweep rowing, rowers use one oar with both hands, while in sculling, rowers have two oars, one in each hand. 

The layout of a typical 4 person sculling boat. (Anna Passos and Elena Eng)

While rowing may seem like an upper body workout, it is a full-body workout. To successfully perform each stroke, strength comes from the legs while the oars are pushed and pulled by the arms. While doing this, rowers must also keep their core engaged. Despite being a complete workout, rowing has little impact on the joints.

“Rowing really is a full-body sport, so if you join a crew team, you will get in amazing shape,” said Abigail Kizner, a sophomore rower for Norcal Crew. “Additionally, it’s all about teamwork, so you make great friends and learn to work hard for others.”

Teamwork is essential as each stroke must harmonize to provide maximum speed. If one person tries to do their own thing, it slows the whole boat down. Learning about each other is essential to make sure the team is completely synchronized.

“Rowing helps you build a lot of muscle,” says freshman NorCal Crew rower Joie Matsuda, “[You] learn how to work with your team on a deeper level, since crew is so rooted in being on a team.”

Sophomore Gillian Adrouny (third from right) rows alongside her NorCal Crew teammates. (Gillian Adrouny)

With COVID-19, bonding with teammates, a factor necessary to create similar blade work, determination, and goals, has proven difficult.

“Covid canceled all our spring regattas and put a pause on our season,” said Gillian Adrouny, a sophomore NorCal Crew rower. “This was hard and disappointing because my team was doing well and on the road to nationals.”

The coronavirus pandemic has had a severe impact on many sports, rowing being one of them. This season, NorCal Crew is taking several safety precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Their club is not participating in regattas or races until public health guidelines change. They’re also enforcing a mask and social distancing policy.

“This has been a challenging year due to the pandemic, but rowing has really helped me through it,” Kizner said.

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