It is every athlete’s dream to represent their country at the highest level of their sport. Varsity Boys’ Crew Captain Jimmy Patton ’20 made this dream a reality.
This past summer, Patton was selected as one of 16 athletes to don the red, white, and blue while competing for the United States U19 National Crew Team. The selection process was incredibly rigorous and Patton distinguished himself as one of the nation’s premier rowers. 60 athletes were invited to the selection camp, a challenge in and of itself. Of those 60, 16 were added to the team’s roster. Head Boys’ Varsity Crew Coach Spencer Washburn spoke to the exhaustive selection process, saying: “Just making it to camp was a huge accomplishment, but then making the team really spoke to Patton’s ability as an oarsman as well as his competitiveness – he simply finds a way to win, regardless of the situation.”
It is this competitiveness that distinguished Patton from the average incredibly high-achieving athlete. Teammate and Co-Captain Tommy Gilmore ’20 spoke to Patton’s competitive ability. He said, “He is the most dedicated and persistent rower I have ever been in a boat with. He always does the little things right and will do anything necessary to win races.” Patton brings a special combination of talent, work ethic, and competitiveness to both the Deerfield and American crews.
But being selected for the team was just the beginning. All 16 American rowers spent their summers training at an Olympic style training camp in preparation to take the world stage. An average day at US training camp consisted of a 5:00am wake up, straight into 7 hours on the water, a 2 hour nap on a good day, another 4 hours on the water, then straight to bed before they did it all again. Makes you feel pretty bad about your summer, doesn’t it?
After this intense training, the US team shipped off to Japan to compete against the top crews in the country. In a thrilling medal race, Patton’s 8v boat finished in second place edging out the Brits and coming in just behind the Germans who, according to Patton, looked like: “Grown a** men.”
There is no question that Patton’s hard work paid off. He counts his work with the US national team among his greatest accomplishments, saying: “It was an absolute honor to be able to represent the US at that level.”
We are all incredibly proud of Patton and anticipate his work with the US National Team this year.