Olivia Papp ’23
The Trinity College Women’s Rowing Team has endured many substantial changes this semester, all of which the rowers have been mentally and physically adapting to. Similar to other sports teams across campus, the women’s rowing team has had to postpone the start date of the season.
With COVID-19 here to stay for the time being, the women’s rowing team has committed to not partaking in regattas. What is unique about rowing, however, is that it is a two-season sport. As such, the athletes have a special scenario in which they are able to practice, get faster and stronger in the fall, and hopefully apply those improvements in the spring when the women are competing for a title.
A natural air of competitiveness is derived from rowing, especially since each girl is fighting for a top spot in a top boat. However, with no clear racing schedule this fall, many women are finding that they need to up their mental game in order to keep in top shape.
Team member Isabella Bianchinni ’23 offered the Tripod her take on the current situation: “Usually at the beginning of each rowing season, we are in top shape from the summer, hoping to be put in the top boat to race at the most important race of the season. We all look forward to and work for one of those eight seats… this means we need to be even more mentally tough this season to keep in shape for the other people on the team.”
In order to adhere to social distancing rules, rowers cannot technically row in doubles, fours, or eights anymore, thus presenting a new challenge to some who do not have experience rowing in singles. Nonetheless, both experienced and inexperienced scullers will be refining their skills this fall.
Rower Claire Grigglestone ’21 added that “the opportunity for everyone to practice in singles this year is really unique and will benefit us when we transition into team boats… sculling develops a strong sense of boat feel and improves technique. I am excited to see people’s progress, and some inter-squad competition.”
While freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are able to look forward to getting stronger over the coming years, the seniors on the team now have to prepare themselves to compete in the spring, or perhaps not compete at all. Grigglestone added that it is “hard to rationalize why one should keep training when you may not have another season of racing. What I say to myself, and to my teammates, is that, despite everything, if I am given the opportunity to race this spring, I want to be as prepared as possible.”
Although everything is up in the air at the moment, according to Grigglestone, the seniors on the team will walk away with no regrets this year. “I don’t want to wonder what could have been. I want to look back and know I gave it my all.”