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Rower Spotlight: Abby Wilson

Our first Rower Spotlight is on Abby Wilson! Who better to kick-off this new web site feature than Abby? As she has selflessly and seamlessly rowed this spring with the male Junior Racers, Coach Kristen notes, "Abby is a tough rower. She hangs off the blade throughout the stroke and is tenacious when others might heed. She is a fearless leader and a keen bow person!" Because of these qualities, Abby has earned the respect and admiration of all who have rowed with her. She is one who coaches have come to depend on. NRC will miss Abby as she attends college in the fall. Until then, we look forward to a summer full of Abby rowing and coaching!

How long have you rowed at NRC?

I have been rowing at Noank for three years.

How did you learn about rowing at NRC?

I learned about NRC when I raced against the club when I rowed at NFA. It was one of the usual Beebe Cove matches. I remember meeting Coach Kristen and loved her enthusiasm and passion for rowing.

Did you play/are you playing other sports?

I currently am focusing on rowing. I have made it a full-time commitment. I used to play basketball and softball, though!

What do you like about rowing?

I love everything about rowing. One thing I can say is I have truly made lifelong friendships. I also have great mentors like Coach Kristen, who I know I can rely on. You don't realize how close you become to someone when you’re in a double or a quad with them five days a week for an hour-and-a-half a day. Not only have they become my family, they're also a part of the joy of rowing to me.

What has rowing meant to you?

Rowing is something that I feel has pushed me and taught me a lot about who I am. It always keeps me striving to beat my times on the water and the erg. It also has taught me true dedication. I practice five days a week for just eight minutes of racing every now and then. This is why rowing means so much to me. I put everything I have into rowing so that I will be proud of my times and, when I am in a shell with other people, I know I am contributing to us medalling.

What are your plans after high school? Do they include rowing?

Next year I will be attending the University of Delaware. Although my college search was focused on my major, early childhood education, it was important to me that the school I attended had a crew team. My doubles partner at NRC, Lydia, currently rows for UCONN and I admire how hard she works, but also how much everyone on her team is dedicated to rowing. I want to experience that. I'm also someone who is always up for a challenge and enjoys a somewhat competitive atmosphere!

What are your most memorable experiences about rowing at NRC?

I have so many memorable experiences. I can say that racing in a double at the Northeastern Youth Championships was one of my greatest moments. Paddling to the start we knew that we had to place in the top three against some competitive, heavyweight teams. We had to place to race the next day and to prevent it from being our last race together. Once the race got started, we were flying. I was in bow and I could see that we were neck-and-neck for third. Me, being the loud bows-woman, started to call sprints and by halfway we had pulled away from them. The last 500m hit and we gave it all we had. Not only did we place to race the next day, we rowed our best on-water time yet. Our "double trouble" legacy was definitely shown there on that day.

What is unique about rowing at NRC?

NRC is unique in a lot of ways. It's most definitely a small community. Events like the pasta supper show this. It allows for everyone to have the opportunity to get involved. Rowing isn't just about teaching you to be a good, fast, strong rower. A good rower also has to handle responsibility and understand the dependency that your crew has on you. NRC does a good job of harboring this. I can say from experience that Coach Kristen and I have spent nights working on small projects for the entire crew. I have volunteered time to be a part of various events, like small boat day. I would do it again in a heartbeat. NRC also allows classes for people of all abilities. No matter who you are, I can promise you will be welcomed in to the family. You will also become one of Coach Kristen’s "snicker doodles."

Would you recommend rowing to others? Why?

I would recommend rowing to everyone! It's a truly amazing feeling when you get the hang of it. One day you go out on the water and it's like glass. You can see the reflection of the sky on the water and you go off the dock in a double, quad, or eight with people you have become close friends with and you feel yourself glide across the water. You can hear the little bubbles from your stern and the boat is set. It is a remarkable and thrilling moment that everyone should be able to feel. I will miss NRC greatly next year but I know that I will always be welcomed back to Noank because I have become a part of the family, as well as I have made lifelong bonds with beautiful people. These are all the things that NRC offers. These are the things that have given me the opportunity to pursue rowing in college and taught me life skills that I can carry with me.

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