Seniors help lay future for rowing

Rowing sees three seniors graduate, four continue eligibility

Brandon Bee and Daniel Newman

women work out in a weight room
Chloe Remley and Jennifer Hoag work out in the weight room during a Saturday practice. (Blake Dahlin)

Shelby Janes, Amanda Larsen and Chloe Remley saw their senior and final rowing season come to a close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They were only able to compete in one regatta before the entire rowing season was canceled. 

There are four other rowers who are seniors at the university, but are moving on to masters and graduate programs, or continuing their bachelor’s program and still have years of eligibility left on the team. These members are Tamyra Clark-Hoogstrate, Kaitlin Dickinson, Gillian Edgar and Julie Renne.  

“I’ve learned how to work with people in different ways, I’ve learned to have ‘tougher skin’ as they say, and I’ve learned that even though you can do things on your own, it often results in a much better way by having people around you to teach and support you,” Renne said via a phone message.

Just like any other great team, there must be leaders who step up to the task and show they are capable of helping their teams win. Renne is one of those leaders.

“I’ve listened and learned from my teammates, some older and some younger than me,” she said. “The lessons that I have learned from these people are undoubtedly invaluable. I’m excited to lead in my future and continue to listen and learn, then lead by example.”

a woman carries oars up from a dock
Amanda Larsen carries oars back to the shell-house following the conclusion of the four person varsity crew’s workout on the water. The team finished practice in the weight room. (Blake Dahlin)

Memories of great races can make the hard work and dedication for these athletes worth it, as they have to come practice and train every day and every week to compete. Chloe Remley remembers a race when the team was in San Diego, California, which is where she is from. In the race, they got off to a rough start against their competition and had to climb their way back.

“Everyone was giving it their all and were in tune with each other,” she said in an emal. “By the time we had 500 meters left (the final stretch), I felt tired and spent. But we all felt a second wind that helped us cross the finish line. It showed how strong I truly was, and how strong we were together.”

Remley, along with Kaitlin Dickinson and Amanda Larsen, joined the program in their freshman year, which was the 2016-17, the same year coach Andrew Derrick was hired. That year, the varsity eight crew earned second place at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships. 

Now captain Gillian Edgar joined the crew in the 2017-18 season, and The Falcons continued to progress, finishing in second place in multiple races. 

The 2018-19 season saw the addition of Clark-Hoogstrate, Janes and Renne to the crew, and Edgar was named a first team All-American. The year finished with the Falcons first appearance in the NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships since 2011. The Falcons’ crews combined to achieve a fourth place finish at the championships. 

“Despite all of the grueling work and incredible self-discipline, I believe the biggest reason we were able to make heads turn, get us to NCAAs for the first time in years and claim fourth at NCAAs, was the commitment we all had to each other,” Janes said in an email. 

“Each woman in the boat wanted badly to get to NCAAs, but if we had only tried to get there by ourselves it would never have happened.”