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NRC Rowers Talk About Rowing in College



Above: Paths crossed at the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta for former NRC rowers Simon, Abby and Ryan.

Several NRC rowers are now rowing in college! We thought it would be interesting to check in with them and see how things are going. Below are their answers to some questions that give a little insight into the transition they made from rowing at NRC to rowing at the collegiate level!

Tell us about your rowing career in college?

Simon Bohn – Union College, NY: In college I row 4-seat in a wing rigger named Nemo for Men’s Frosh 8+. We placed 4th in the Housatonic and 7th in the Schuylkill River.

Lydia Pfisterer – U Conn: It is very intense. Sweep rowing is different from sculling. So, I got to relearn that and learn new techniques to row better. I sat wherever they needed me, from stroke to bow and anywhere in between, but mostly rowed 4-seat. My 8+ got 1st place at the Schuylkill in my freshman year (2015) which was a great experience.

Ryan Krupansky – Liberty University, VA: When the fall began, I was the only freshman and the only “new rower” to join the team. I wake up around 4:15 am every day to go to practice, an hour away, at 6:30am. I had the opportunity to row in different boats: 8+, 4+, 2x, 2x (Mixed), and 1x. At Head of the Ohio our 4+ placed first. At the Head of the Schuylkill, our 4+ placed in the top half. In Chattanooga, TN our 4+ did the same and I took home a bronze in the 1x. In our final race at Head of the South, our men’s novice 8+ took third. Overall Liberty had a pretty successful season.

Gianni Jannke – Bowdoin, ME: I rowed bow in the First Novice Men’s 4+. Our crew came in 2nd in the Textile River Regatta and 2nd in the Quinsigamond Snake regatta. For these regattas we trained, six days a week, two hours a day. Our rowing team is comprised of 20 members who race fours.

Abby Wilson – University of Delaware, DE: The University of Delaware had five varsity eights boats race in the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta. Abby was in stroke-seat and 7-seat for the fall season. In the Schuylkill her “C” 8+ finished 30th out of 56. At the Head of the Occoquan her 8+ placed 11th out of 25 and at the Head of the Christina, 1st out of 5! For training she has morning practice every weekday at 5:30am with a two-hour conditioning and lifting session Mon, Wed & Fri in the afternoon.

What is different about rowing in college, than at the club level?

Simon: It is much more intense, but has the same enjoyment.

Lydia: It is two practices every day, six days a week. It’s a huge time commitment, but worth every second. It is a lot of training, especially in the winter, which is when lots of improvement is made on the ergs.

Ryan: Rowing in college is definitely a step up in intensity and commitment. We have early morning practices followed by afternoon sessions on the water or in the gym. The 2k erg score defines you as a competitive rower. Rowing in college takes a lot of time, so time management is everything.

Gianni: There are a lot more people. Training is definitely at a higher level, but that is to be expected.

Abby: It is a lot more intense and there isn’t much one-on-one time with coaches. You spend a lot of time on the ergs and that determines your placement just as much as our ability on the water.


Above: Gianni (left) with his Bowdoin crew.

What advice would you give young rowers at NRC (about prepping to row in college)

Simon: When in doubt, row it out. You can always try out (for the rowing team).

Side note: Simon by the way was voted secretary / treasurer of his freshman class. As a Frosh representative, he met Chuck Schumer at a campus function!

Lydia: Join the NRC Junior Racers. It is a good step toward college rowing and gives a little taste of how college rowing will be. Don’t skip practices. It isn’t tolerated in college rowing and it gives good impressions to the coach, showing how important rowing is to you. Lastly, practice on your own. It will put you ahead and that will be needed in college!

Ryan: One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give to high school athletes is to exercise in the off season or even when you don’t have practice. When you are not competing or practicing take some time out of your day to go for a run, do a piece on the erg, or even run through some exercise circuits. All of the work you put in in the off season will put you at an advantage as an athlete and as a rower.

Gianni: Don’t forget to sweep row every once in a while – on BOTH sides. DO the Junior Racing Program with coach Allie. Spend as much time as you can on the water and erg.

Abby: I would say to start erging now and get used to it. Try and stay as organized as possible. Finally, do not get discouraged when you first start. I know for me joining such a big (4 varsity women’s 8+s alone) collegiate team with 50+ girls was extremely intimidating!

What’s one are some of the things you learned at NRC that have been helpful in college?

Simon: Anyone can row! Rowing is fun.

Lydia: Determination, hard work, and pushing through pain & fatigue. How to have fun with rowing:

I rowed my while freshman year and loved it. I had times when I wanted to quit, but pushed through and was able to learn a lot and gained lots of skills and build muscle. I decided to not row this year because my class schedule was too intensive (as a nursing major). I miss it every day but am still able to make it to the gym. Rowing taught me how to wake up early! Rowing certainly isn’t done with me, and I’m not done with it!

Ryan: Learning to scull at NRC is one of the biggest advantages I have had as a rower. Sculling can take many years to master and being able to have that experience makes it easier to get in any boat and just row. With my sculling experience, it only took me a few practices to become a decent sweep rower, and I am able to row starboard or port if my coach needs me to. NRC was my doorway into rowing and when I learned the basics behind the sport that help me today.

Gianni: Patience, rowing etiquette, responsibility and a good knowledge of rigging. My team culture is quite similar to that at NRC, which was lucky from what I gather from my other teammates. Bring everything you learn from NRC to college with you and you will definitely have a good time and do well!

Abby: How to prioritize my time because. Good technique on the water because it is something that a lot of rowers in college haven’t learned.


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