Deciding on the Premier League Champion

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Lawrenceville Girls Crew team has not been competing during the spring season.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Lawrenceville Girls Crew team has not been competing during the spring season. However, Crew Captains Samika Hariharan ’20 and Audrey Craighead ’20 have displayed the leadership and resilience needed to make the most out of these times. Hariharan emphasized that “competition is a huge part of pushing [the team] during [the] crew season,” and the competition the team has had during this unusual spring term is “bringing the girls together.”

The girls crew team has been completing a series of weekly challenges where the whole team of about 30 virtual participants is divided into smaller sets of mini-teams consisting of four or five rowers. Sharing workout schedules and plans through online platforms such as Haiku, the captains have made the various activities and workout routines the team can engage accessible: high-intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio workout videos, erging and running workouts, power circuits, pilates, yoga, stretches, etc. The team has been training online with a point-based system, with each workout accounting for a certain number of points; a full three points are awarded if the entire team, including the coxswains, complete the posted workout for the day. Workouts may range from strength, cardio, and flexibility pieces. At the end of the week, the two captains tally up the team points for a winning team and recognize the 10 individuals with the most points earned. The point-based system has sparked a sense of motivation and competition among the rowers that would have otherwise been lost due to the season’s cancelation.

Despite the forced social distancing, the team continues to stay united through the aforementioned workouts along with weekly Zoom calls. On Mondays, for an hour, the team meets virtually to discuss results of the week, provide a preview of the upcoming week, conduct goal-planning and evaluation sessions in breakout rooms, and give the opportunity for seniors or coaches to talk about their rowing experience. The Zoom calls each week are a good time for team bonding while also allowing the captains to track everyone’s progress. The calls are followed by either a Big Red Strength and Conditioning workout or a power circuit as a team before breaking out for cardio. Furthermore, both captains are thankful that the virtual experience still allows upperclassmen “to meet so many new underclassmen.” The weekly meetups have been a great time for the coaches and rowers to build a stronger and more dynamic team.

Though the team has found multiple ways to train at home and stay in shape, one of the aspects of the crew season that Hariharan and Craighead miss most is getting “out on the water with [the] team.” Both Hariharan and Craighead believe that crew requires “a lot of work” but at the same time is enjoyable when the team has light practices on Sundays, during team dinners or bus rides, or relaxing at the parent’s tent after a successful regatta.

As for the seniors and captains, they will not be able to row alongside the new members of the crew team. Thus, Hariharan offered some advice for the underclassmen: “Though crew is super time consuming and often quite stressful, it is truly something special with its ability to bring together a team like no other sport. Appreciate it while it lasts, and give it your all to make the most of it.” She added by highlighting the importance of putting in the work on the ergometer or otherwise during the winter to smoothly transition into the spring season.

Throughout the remaining Spring Term, the team is looking forward to completing its daily challenges and participating in an end-of-year Zoom banquet with Head Coach Bernadette Teeley. While the captains are missing out on their V Form season, Craighead and Hariharan will both continue their crew journeys at Dartmouth College and Georgetown University, respectively. Hariharan reflected, saying, “Though I think my rowing career will end after college, I am looking forward to getting to be part of a team again and [continuing] to improve.”

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