Kind and competitive: a rare pairing in athletics, but one that rower Anna Scott ’18 embodies on a daily basis. Scott had never been on the water before coming to Deerfield, yet next year she will head off to Yale University to row on one of the most successful crews in the country.
Scott has led Deerfield to three top three finishes at New England’s, with a first place finish last year. The top finish at NEIRA’s qualified the boat for Nationals where they placed seventh amongst the strongest high school crews from coast to coast.
Scott’s success in the sport speaks for itself, but what speaks volumes is her character. She is described by co-captain Bailyn Pritchett ‘19 as a “natural leader” and a “kind spirit.”
When asked to speak to Scott’s work ethic, Pritchett responded with, “She’s always gives her all — I’ve never seen someone push so hard with stroke — which is super motivating for the rest of the boat.”
Scott’s journey in the sport is truly a miraculous one. When asked how she got started in the sport, Scott said, “Originally, I was going to do cycling, but Ms. Goldenberg, the rowing coach at the time, that I should join the team after finding out I was 6’1”.” Scott gave it a try, starting as an inexperienced ninth-grader. Scott had never even watched a regatta before being recruited by Goldenberg, saying, “I was really inexperienced. I didn’t even know the river had a current.” Her first season on the crew team, Scott found herself in second boat, an impressive feat for a new rower.
As Scott’s career progressed and she began to feel the current in the river, she joined the first boat. After a successful season in the 1V her sophomore season, with a third-place finish at New Englands, Scott sought more success for her junior year, and more success is just what she got. That year, the 1V clinched a spot at Nationals by a first place finish at New England’s, a accomplishment that the crew had not seen since Scott’s ninth grade year.
Head coach Melanie Onufrieff spoke to Scott’s incredible work ethic saying, “She is totally an inspiration to the other girls on the team. She shows that if you have dreams and you put in the work, she can reach unimaginable heights.”
Being such a successful and hard-working crew, it would be easy to make the season all work, no play. But what makes Deerfield crew so special is the amount of chemistry on the team. Scott reminisced about fun jam sessions on the way back from the boathouse, and dance parties in the locker room before regattas.
Teammate Erika Warren ’18 attributes much of this team chemistry to Scott, saying, “[She] is such a fun captain. She makes everyone feel so included and makes even the hardest practices a blast!”
As much as Scott has changed the Deerfield rowing program, the Deerfield rowing program has also changed her.
“Without the guidance of my talented coaches and teammates, there is no way I could be where I am today,” said Scott.
The girls crew team has had an incredible season thus far, with the first boat placing first in three of their races and second in their most recent race. The team as a whole has a record of 3-1, with one more regatta left before New England’s.
Scott was optimistic about the upcoming races, saying, “We have a really good team and I’m excited to see what this last month holds.”
Best of luck to Scott and the rest of the crew team, as they take on Choate next weekend and look defend their New England title the week after next!