Boys and girls rowing have impressive showing at States: State winners qualify for Nationals in Sarasota, Florida from June 12-14

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Junior 4+ gold medal winning boat members celebrate their victory by throwing their coxswain into the water, a common tradition amongst victorious crew teams. The boys also qualified for Nationals and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.

Dillon Nissan, Staff Writer

The boys and girls varsity rowing season has ended, and the team returns home from states victorious.

After a difficult season, the rowing team has won the state championship.

Most spring races are very short, so the team works at a 2 to 6 minute range of pieces in order to train.  As the saying goes, a minute of pain is worth a lifetime of glory.

Senior Ashley Meyer remembers how at the start of the season, each girl went around sharing which goals they had for the end of the spring season.

“Mine was to win states in the lightweight 4+ and qualify and compete at Youth Nationals. It is one of the best feelings knowing that we’ve made it, and we’re training non-stop to make it as far as we can on the national level.” said Meyer.

It is one thing to practice hard, but it is so much more rewarding to see the hard work and effort pay off.

“Well, everyone did really great as a whole and as individuals.  Not only did we see great performance in competition throughout the team’s season, but also we saw tremendous progress with all of the rowers.  Most notably, the freshman men and women’s team made many improvements during the season, finishing off their run at the State Championship competition in Saratoga,” said Bosgang.

Without time to strategize, rowers need to go into races with winning mentalities.  It is important to be constantly pushing yourself, as Coach Mr. Steve Panzik put it, to “get out ahead and stay out ahead, right from the start.”

Using this approach, the team got the job done and finished with gold in the state races.  The team definitely has the athletes who are motivated and dedicated to focus on strategy and achieving their goals.

Although the race was very intense, all members of the team performed well.  At the State Tournament, the teams earned gold  medals in girls 2-, boys junior 4+, and boys freshman 4+.  The girls lightweight 4+ earned a silver medal and qualified for a coveted spot to row at the U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Florida from June 12-14.

“Winning states means qualifying for nationals. This team has accomplished goals of this caliber before, and I do not have much doubt that if we put in enough effort, we will see results,” said Bosgang.

Meyer was also very proud of how the girls performed in states.

“I couldn’t be happier with the level of racing we accomplished this year at State Champs.  On Saturday, we raced in Time Trials, which determines whether your boat makes it to the Grand Final or the Petite Final on Sunday.  We were super happy that we ended up making it to the Grand Final the next day, where we won a silver medal.  I’ll never forget what it felt like getting off the water, knowing that my girls and I had made it to Nationals,” said Meyer.

The race took place on Mother’s Day, and Ashley’s mom was extremely proud of her daughter.

“When I had called my mother that afternoon to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day, she said, ‘Ashley, I heard!  This is the best Mother’s Day present I could ever receive.’  I am super proud of the girls in my boat, we’ve all worked very hard for this,” said Meyer.

This race was a win for both the upperclassmen and the younger athletes.  The newer rowers got the experience of a truly intense and competitive regatta, while the more experienced members of the rowing team were able to test their ability against other top teams in New York State.

“The team has only gotten faster since our first season five years ago, and there is no reason for us to stop here.  There are setbacks like losing valuable teammates and having off races, but that’s a given with rowing.  The separation between the good and the great is who will work even harder to improve even after they think that they can no longer progress.  I like to think that Port Rowing has a lot of people who deal with setbacks at an exceptional level,” said Bosgang.

With all the talent that these teams have, the rowing teams expect to succeed for years to come.