All oars on the Rye High Girls’ Crew team are focused on defending their entry to The Head of The Charles Regatta, the most prestigious crew races in North America, on October 17-18.
By Melanie Cane
All oars on the Rye High Girls’ Crew team are focused on defending their entry to The Head of The Charles Regatta, the most prestigious crew races in North America, on October 17-18. To qualify, a team must have either finished in the top 50% of their category the year before or win a place in the lottery. The Girls 8+ gained entry through the lottery, as they did not participate last year. Coach Catherine Labine, who took over the Girls’ team in August 2014, entered the lottery and won entry for the 8+, which means that eight rowers plus a coxswain and possibly backup rowers will have to be ready for the regatta. For the 23 girls on the team, 15 on varsity and eight novice-eligible, preparation is everything.
Coach Sabine has been working on fostering a strong worth ethic and instilling a love of the sport in her athletes. With daily 5 a.m. practices and double practices on several days, the athletes have to be dedicated and committed, but Coach Sabine says it goes beyond coming to practice. “It is about working hard during practice and outside of practice. The girls need to work on conditioning and overall healthy lifestyles.” Coach explained that from the first practice on August 24 to the nationals in the spring, training is about preparing for the next event with emphasis on endurance, technique and strategy.
Co-Captains Erin Fallon and Chiara Brow are among three seniors on the team. In addition to them and Coach Sabine, the rowers will look to new Assistant Coach Diana Gryszkiewicz for guidance. Gryszkiewicz is also Assistant Coach of the Boys’ team and Director of RowAmericaRye’s middle school program.
The team will participate in two regattas prior to The Charles: The Head of the Riverfront in Hartford on October 4, followed by The Head of the Housatonic in Shelton, Conn., on October 10.