Unlike any other sport at WHS, the Weston-Wayland crew team can be seen dotting the water in long boats, running, weightlifting, erging or working out during all four seasons of the year. This is because the team has year-round practices six times a week, in the fall, summer, and spring on.
Junior Thea Kendall-Green commented on the toll of these four unique seasons on athletes’ bodies.
“Training is physically and mentally exhausting, but it’s what makes us such a good team. The training routines and style may differ, but since crew is a racing sport, physical fitness is an incredibly important aspect,” Kendall-Green expressed.
Another unique aspect of the crew season is the winter season which takes place at the Longfellow Tennis & Health Club Natick, an indoor public gym. Winter training offers students the opportunity and resources to bench and deadlift weights in the hundreds of pounds, or train cardio on the treadmill and rowing machines.
Sophomore Alex Vlasakov expressed his experiences training during this winter season and being pushed as an athlete.
“Training is exhausting and I’m often sore, but most of the time I’m fine with it. Every once in a while, the coaches push us really hard, but they’re doing it for us to improve as athletes,” Vlasakov explained.
While the winter season focuses on personal training, the other seasons offer more activity actually on the water. The fall is comprised of more localized regattas, the spring consists of larger and farther ones like Saratoga or even Nationals, and the summer season is mostly for training, practicing, and preparing the new year.
“All of the seasons are essentially training for the spring season because of how competitive and important it is,” sophomore Alex Goldstone explained. “Summer is to get used to small boats, fall is for racing, and winter is for building muscle.”
Aside from these four outdoor seasons, sophomore Caroline Schuckel recognized the team’s improvement and the overall benefits of the unique winter training season, despite not participating in it herself.
“I think [winter training] is good because it keeps the team together so that people can continue to keep working together through the spring,” Schuckel said. “How people get along with each other and what kind of climate the program is is really important for the way that we row.”
Despite being the only sport to have four physically challenging training seasons, crew is still popular enough to have both novice and varsity boys and girls teams each year.
“All in all, the season is hard on your body in the same way that committing fully to any sport is. It will be exhausting, but you will get into the best shape of your life,” Kendall-Green said.