Long on enthusiasm and short on experience, the boys’ and girls’ crew teams skulled their way to unprecedented silver medals at the New England Championships in late May. In fact, six of the sixteen rowers who made up the girls’ crew team this spring were either first-year rowers or ninth graders.
However, undaunted, the girls’ squad completed the biggest turn-around in recent memory, jumping from 17th in New England, to second, only two points behind the New England Champion Noble & Greenough.
“Most of the girls on the third and fourth boats started out on the novice team this year,” said Elizabeth Wood ’10, who also participated in crew for the first time this year as the coxswain of the third boat. “It wasn’t what I expected. It took me some time to get used to shouting all of the instructions. Scottie [Thompson] ’09 really helped me, though. She was a great captain and team leader for us this year.”
Losing only three seniors to graduation, the girls’ team is going for the gold medal at New England’s next year. Three four-year varsity rowers—Lizzie Nelson ’10, Hally Sheldon ’10, and Julia Trehu ’10—will lead the team as captains next spring.
The story of the boys’ team is similar to that of the girls: a boatload of young, talented rowers led by a core of experienced seniors. Even the boys’ coach, Ben Hamilton, was a rookie to the Deerfield crew program.
Mr. Hamilton, however, was not new to the sport, as he coached at Belmont Hill, the prep school powerhouse that took home its seventh straight New England rowing title.
“Mr. Hamilton was a great motivator for the entire team,” said Tanner Larson ’11, who rowed for the first time this past season. “He really helped us realize our full potential, and that’s one of the reasons we were so successful this year.”
Larson also appreciated some of the team’s veterans. “Tom Hanson ’09 was a great leader for the whole team, but Chase [Weidner] ’10, who was the only experienced rower in my boat taught all of us how to keep going through all of the strenuous workouts.”
Many rowers also participated in rowing camps this summer including next year’s captain Brooks Walker ’10.