Liberty students take on challenges of rowing

Lillian Moore, Staff Writer

Most athletes would never even entertain the idea of playing two back-to-back varsity basketball games without a break. Yet, rowers continuously exert that amount of energy in only eight minutes during practice and competition.
Liberty seniors Anna Benson and Megan Kirshner both row for Sammamish rowing club in Redmond, and Benson has signed with Loyola Marymount University down in California for rowing.
“[There is] lots of blood and tears and sometimes throwing up, so you really get to know people and you really have to connect with them and understand them. When you are working hard in the boat you have to work hard for them, and know that they are working hard for you,” senior Megan Kirshner said.
Propelling a boat through the water as a team for three miles, as fast as humanly possible, is no easy task.  Kirshner and Benson state how rowing has challenged both their characters and physical abilities, but also how it has changed them for the better.
“I like the confidence it has given me. For a lot of sports you work as an individual, although you are a part of a team, but with rowing you really have to work with every girl in your boat,” Benson said.
Rowing is a unique type of team sport, where in order to succeed every person in the boat has to be in tune with each other. Kirshner emphasizes the importance of every second on the clock, as she describes a race where Kirshner and Benson’s boat won by only .003 seconds, or half of the two inch ball on the front of the boat.
The competitions for rowing, called regattas, can be long and exhausting, sometimes starting at 4 in the morning and lasting for 12 hours. The rowers work hard against tough competition and enjoy getting to know other rowers.
Although the sport includes blood, sweat and tears, Kirshner, Benson and enjoy it all the more as strong friendships are built and hard work pays off for fantastic victories.