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How Far We've Come

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It all started as we heard the horn and crossed the finish line, first place at the Allegheny Sprint races. It was a great end to the fall season. Little did we know it was just the beginning of what we would achieve by the end of the year . Without that win, however, we wouldn't have seen what we could do, nor would we have had the motivation to do it again. Without this motivation, I don't think the end would have turned out as it did.

Our Freshman girls crew team dove into winter season, with memories of gold still fresh in our minds. We worked to our breaking points. As we worked through our blood, sweat, and tears, we started hearing about opportunities we'd have that spring season; chances to prove what we'd worked for. Midwest was the biggest, and most celebrated race we'd attend that spring. Our upperclassmen teammates told us about SRAA nationals, which we could only attend if our Freshman eight boat placed in the top three of its category in the Midwest region. Being our ambitious selves, soon the word "nationals" spread across the lined paper of many of our goal sheets. We wanted it, so from when we wrote our goals to midwest, we continued working hard. We tracked our competitor's race times, and killed ourselves to beat our rival, Okland Catholic, by five seconds, two races in a row. Soon the number of practices until midwest became slim, and before we knew it, we were off! It was an amazing weekend of rowing and team bonding. It flew by, and was filled with moments I'll never forget. One of these, was when our entire team was clustered at the back of the bus, having the kind of fun that we always do just being together; win or lose. As we sang to "sweet caroline" and "drops of jupiter", the seniors were spending their last few moments of the last bus ride, on the last year of their high school rowing career. We pulled into the high school, and I looked behind me to see one of the senior boys captains, sobbing, and the rest of the team slowly breaking down as well. I thought about how our novice team had come so far since the beginning of the year, but it had only been one year. The seniors were at their end of the rope, butB we still have three years of more blood, sweat, and hopefully tears ahead; tears for the team we love. For us, It's just the beginning. I don't know who the underclassmen will be, bunched around me when I'm on my last crew bus ride as a senior, but I hope I'm as sad to leave them as this year's seniors were. Right now, all I know for sure, is that I'm going to have a blast with my novice girls at SRAA nationals next week. It will be a perfect begininning to the end of this year, or end to the beginning, depending on how you look at it.





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