Seattle student crew athletes are some of the best in the world

Rowing is becoming more mainstream for students and also more intense

Ellie Rice, Staff Reporter
Originally published November 29, 2018

Ellie Rice

Ellie Rice

Crew is one of the oldest intercollegiate sports in America, but there has been a growing number of middle and high school students joining the sport in recent years all across the country. Many students row on teams from around Seattle such as Pocock, Seattle Rowing Center, Lake Washington Rowing and Green Lake Crew. Rowing is extremely competitive, and talented high school rowers are typically scouted out by some of the best universities in the world.

Crew has ‘regattas’, which is the equivalent of a meet, game or competition. They practice Monday through Saturday, and regattas on most Sundays.

The spring season is when most of the important regattas are held, such as regionals and nationals. This season is longer and more intense. They compete in upward of ten to twelve regattas. Sophomore Andrew Bowser’s boat was a finalist at regionals for the Green Lake Crew team, getting the opportunity to travel to nationals in Sacramento, where they competed against rowers from across the country.

“You work so hard all the time, but going to events like these makes it all worth it,” Bowser said.

During training for nationals, Bowser and the other rowers that qualified practiced nine times a week before and after school with Olympic rower Carlos Dinares. Even though they train like professional athletes, they are still high school students who have to maintain their grades.

“ Being so busy actually helps you get your work done, because there is no time to procrastinate,” Bowser said.

Rowing in Seattle is an especially big deal due to the influence the University of Washington has. Their team won gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, as written about in the novel, “The Boys In The Boat” by Daniel James Brown.

Last year, the Green Lake Girls’ Varsity 8 person boat travelled to the Royal Henley Regatta held in England  and competed against collegiate teams, placing first in one of the smaller races.

While the rowers at Green Lake have some of the best training for high schoolers available, most end up not pursuing crew in college. Crew is a lifestyle, and being a professional athlete requires a lot more than just at the high school level.

“We all were just really good friends… there definitely was a really strong connection, and we get to do what we love” Bowser said.