Crew club prepares for inaugural season

By Ariana Etessami - Staff Writer

Since being introduced in November 2010, the crew club has recruited more than 60 students who have escalated their skill level from novice to row-worthy. As the spring season approaches, rowers prepare to compete with several schools in the area including Wootton,

Whitman, Blair, Walter Johnson and B-CC.

“We’ve never competed before, so it’ll be a good experience,” junior rower Lena Sheorey said. 

Over the past couple of months, the team completed a Learn to Row program at the Thompson Boat Center in Georgetown to learn the basic skills and tactics of rowing. The team also held winter conditioning at the Jewish Community Center in Rockville, where they spent most of their time rowing on ergs. Junior Julianna Hsing, the crew club co-founder and co-captain, is especially grateful for the opportunity to be able to row again.

“It feels good to be rowing on open water,” Hsing said. “It is an incredible feeling.”
Junior crew club co-founder and co-captain Alisa Dan highlights new concepts that rowers must master while in the water.

“Now that the spring season has started we’re concentrating on getting used to rowing on water and getting in top shape for upcoming regattas,” Dan said.

As rowers gradually improve both individually and as a team, summer camps will help them  continue to sharpen their skills and keep players in top shape. Programs suggested to rowers include the U.S. Navy Camp and the Quaker Rowing Camp at the University of Pennsylvania.

At the moment, the team, which is a community club and is not currently supported by CHS, is working on making crew an official school sport. Although the club submitted an application to request the official approval from the athletic department, the application was not approved.

“According to Montgomery County policy, schools can’t sponsor any open water sports, even though other Montgomery County schools have crew teams,” Dan said.

Although currently unsuccessful in becoming a school team, the club has a supportive group of parents who work to organize many activities, fund equipment and instruction and hold meetings periodically.

As the crew club works to achieve status as a school-sponsored sport, the founders hope to draw more students to the team.

“Many students are interested in joining our club,” Hsing said. “We have received overwhelming support.”