Ready to Row?


Joyce Pepin

Captain Katie Souza ‘19, Rianna Mann ‘21, Captain Brianna Dejoie ‘19 and Taiya Lewis ‘21 row in a race at the Head of the Fish Regatta. This event occurred on Sunday, Oct. 28th in Saratoga Springs, NY. “It’s fun because we get to go the long distance,” said Souza.

Nora Miller, A&E Editor

On Oct. 28, the Hollis Brookline High School Crew team competed at the Head of the Fish Regatta in Saratoga Springs, NY. Students rowed against teams from all across North America in races with as many as 85 boats participating.

HB traveled to Saratoga Springs the night before, sleeping over at a hotel to be ready to row first thing in the morning. “We have a lot of fun,” said Delaney MacDonald ‘19, a crew team member. “We go into the pools and jacuzzis and we stay up, even though our coach tells us not to.” Spending the night provides a great team bonding experience. “With the Head of the Fish, since we’re there so much and together so much, we get to learn the stories behind [other team members],” said MacDonald. “We don’t really have the chance to do that at regular regattas, because we’re definitely very divided with the boats that we’re in.”

At Head of the Fish, HB won three medals. Two of the medals were for mixed quads (four athletes, both boys and girls, row with two oars): the boat with Captain Katie Souza ‘19, Alex Dougherty ‘19, Isaac Connelly ‘20 and Taiya Lewis ‘21 got gold and the boat with Captain Brianna Dejoie ‘19, Captain Madoc Lewis ‘19, Captain Kevin Hallerman ‘19 and Rianna Mann ‘21 got bronze. One of the novice girls quads also won a bronze medal. “I got to race with boys, which [I] usually don’t,” said Souza.

The team was very happy with their performance. “Overall, the team placed really well in such a huge competition. We just hope to place in the top two thirds” said HB Crew President of the Board, Joyce Pepin.

Besides the Head of the Fish, there have been many other significant regattas where HB performed well. On Oct. 20, the team traveled to Boston to compete at the Head of the Charles regatta, one of the largest and most well-known rowing regattas, with more than 2,300 boat entries from clubs all across the world. HB Crew had two boats compete at the Head of the Charles: one Junior Women’s Coxed Four (four girls each row with one oar and one girl acts as the coxswain, directing the rowing and steering the boat) and one Junior Men’s Coxed Quad (four boys each row with two oars and one boy acts as coxswain).

The regatta where HB Crew had the best results was at the New England Junior and High School Championship in Worcester, MA. They won two gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal for the Men’s Junior Coxed Quad, the Women’s Junior 2nd Varsity Four, the Women’s Junior Quad and the Men’s Junior Quad, respectively. “Amazing results for such a small club in such an important regional race,” said Coach Mark Lewis.

Overall, the crew team had a very successful year. “Each season gets better and better,” said Pepin. “We get stronger. We place better in all of our races.”

Now that the fall season has ended, crew team members are getting ready for the spring. This coming season is focused on short-distance sprints rather than the long distance of the fall.

Athletes have plenty of goals in mind for the spring and onward. “I want at least most of us to medal at New Hampshire Champs,” said MacDonald. “If we could do that we’d be able to go onto regionals, which is a really big deal, and then maybe nationals, which is even more of a big deal.” HB Crew will be losing 12 seniors for the 2019-2020 season, more than a quarter of the 42-student team, so the spring will also be about “getting everyone stronger and ready to take the place of the seniors,” according to Pepin.

Crew team members will pick up with their winter training on Nov. 26 to prepare for the spring.