HPU Rowing Team looks to continue growth, success

By Whitney Yount, Online Editor

February 6, 2013

In 2012, current sophomores Katelyn Schultz and Sophia Andreatos spent about two months creating a proposal to present to HPU President Nido Qubein. The proposal was for the creation of a club rowing team on campus. Since the day the girls first presented their proposal, the team has grown from just two ambitious freshmen to nearly fifty members at various stages of their undergrad careers.

Schultz and Andreatos are now co-captains and they continue to work hard to make the HPU rowing program a success.

“Starting a team requires lots of dedication, good communication skills, persistence, patience, and team work,” said Schultz.

Schultz also added that both captains dedicate, on average, between 17 and 25 hours per week to the rowing team.

The entire team’s dedication and commitment to training is not hard to miss. Even just by looking at their rigorous practice schedule, one can see that the time commitment required for this sport is exceptional.

One practice is held each morning, and one is held each evening (team members can choose which of the two to attend). Additionally, occasional “roga” night sessions are held for team members. “Roga” is yoga geared toward rowers, and it is taught by senior Christine Vilasi.

Individual meetings with Coach Cory Conzemius are also held for team members to use rowing machines. Practices are being held indoors right now due to the winter weather, but as soon as the weather improves, regular land and water practices outside will resume.

While there are a few experienced rowers on the team, many of the team members are beginners.

“I joined the rowing team by accident, really,” said freshman Mackie Quirk. “I have never rowed before, but one of the captains during the activities fair said that I would be good at it, so I attended the interest meeting, and one could say that it was sort of love at first sight.”

During the fall semester, the team primarily worked on gaining members, introducing the new rowers to the sport and getting in shape for competition season. This spring, the team will host a duel with nearby Wake Forest University and will then travel to four other races.

In addition, the team is planning to travel to Florida to row over spring break, according to Schultz.

“This will give us the opportunity to grow closer as a team and to become more competitive,” said Schultz.

Members of the HPU Rowing Team compete in boats called “eights” and “fours.” “Eights” are boats made for eight rowers plus a “cox,” with a “cox” being the person who steers the boat and encourages the rest of the team. “Fours” simply hold four rowers plus a cox. Currently, the team owns one of each of these boats, but they recently purchased more and expect to see them soon.

Overall, the team has accomplished an amazing amount of work in the past year. “I personally am so proud of every single person on the team because they have all worked so hard to come as far as they have,” said Schultz.

“I love the team,” added Quirk. “The smiles at 6:30 in the morning, the laughs, the determination and courage that we all carry with us in every inch we row.”