Making waves: Crew club qualifies nine boats for Nationals

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By Akshita Joshi, Social Media Editor

After long hours of training and hard practice, the Conestoga Crew club reached their last District Championships of the year. The club competed against crews from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey, as well as specific clubs such as WhiteMarsh and Nereid Boat Club. Their goal was to perform well at the regional level and get through the race strong.

With COVID-19 last year wiping out sports events, the club had limited races with inadequate conditions. It had less access to locations, such as Mercer Lake or Boathouse Row, and had to adjust to practicing on their own time. Goldia Kiteck, one of the coaches of Conestoga Crew, says that there were some challenges throughout last year.

“We face many challenges throughout the season with how we trained,” Kiteck said. “Adjusting (to COVID-19) was difficult but I think the kids have really shown the ability to pick themselves up afterwards.”

This year, however, the crew’s activities started to brighten up and transition back into a normal setting with more important races ahead. The Mid-Atlantic Championships was important for the club because this could bring them to row for nationals in Florida.

In the Mid-Atlantic Championships, the boats must get enough team points for fourth place to advance to nationals. The club raced in New Jersey on Mercer lake with 19 boats. Conestoga Crew won fourth place with nine boats reaching into nationals and a total of eight medals for time trials. Freshman Hannah Gupta, a rower for Conestoga Crew, felt that the race was difficult but allowed the rowers to gain enough momentum to do their best.

“The race was hard for our team, but we wanted to get to nationals, so we kept on cheering for our boats to keep us motivated,” Gupta said. “It was worth it in the end, (and) I’m happy we got that far.”

Gupta also felt that the entire Conestoga crew was uniting in order to do their best for championships.

“I feel I got closer with my crew during the (Mid-Atlantic Championships),” Gupta said. “I think we all collectively shared our passion and motivation to try.”

Since the Mid-Atlantic Championships, Kiteck felt that she saw many changes with the crew this year in the way they trained and cooperated with each other. She also felt that the crew was able to work together at the Mid-Atlantic Championships.

“I think (the crew has) kept working hard and cheering each other on, (and) they’ve all made this a successful regatta,” Kiteck said. “I think watching all the boats come down (after the Championships) while having a great time and supporting each other is always great to see.”