A Rise in Rowing


By Haley Kerner

Taking a substantial amount of strength and endurance, rowing, a sport that is almost as old as time itself, is making a comeback in America and around the world—even in our own Archer community.

According to the official Olympic Games page “Rowing Equipment and History,” rowing was originally used as transportation in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. It made its official debut as a sport around the seventeenth or eighteenth century in England and the first university boat race was the Oxford-Cambridge University boat race in 1828. By the nineteenth century the popularity of rowing spiked in Europe and was exported to America.

Even right here at Archer we have young rowers of our own, including Molly Egger ’16 and Haley Jamieson ’16. Molly describes a typical training day outside of the water: “It consists of about 20 -30 minutes of jogging, an erg [rowing machine] workout that ranges from hellish to ‘I’m literally dead right now, I cannot move my limbs,'” she says.

“After is a few circuits of push-ups, dips, planks, side planks, and scullers, which is the rowing motion but without the boat or erg. Then weights starting with cleans, military press, squats with weights on the back, lunges with weights on the back, good mornings, and then upward rows. After all that we stretch on yoga mats for about ten minutes.”

Rowing is divided into sculling and sweep oar. Sculling involves two oars which is usually used in single, double, or quad  rowing events. Sweep oar involves the rower only using one oar, usually in a double, quad, or eight person boat.

Rowers in the marina among them Molly '16 and Haley '16. Photographer: Haley Kerner
Rowers in the marina: among them Molly ’16 and Haley ’16.
Photographer: Haley Kerner ’16

As physically demanding as this sport is, Molly enjoys it immensely. “There is an amazing team dynamic”, she smiles. “Everyone has to be so in-tune with the other people in the boat so that you all move as one body.” And although she does not think that the sport will grow much more, statistics show that it in fact has grown since the beginning of the last century, especially in collegiate levels.

Accoording to the NCAA’s article “Rowing increases in popularity,” the growth in popularity of the sport on a collegiate level is astounding. From 1981-1982 there were only 43 schools that sponsored women’s rowing and only 28 of those were division one. Now there are 85 division one schools out of about 142 schools that support women’s rowing.

Featured Image: Haley Jamieson ’16 taking a short break from rowing in the marina. Photographer: Haley Kerner ’16