‘Rowing hasn’t seen the last of me’: Senior Charley Griffiths commits to Division 1 rowing at UC Berkeley


Photo credit: Charley Griffiths

Senior Charley Griffiths wears a University of California, Berkeley t-shirt, where she has committed for Division 1 rowing next year. Griffiths has been a coxswain for four years. Photo courtesy of Griffiths.

By Molly Goldberg, Culture Editor

While her final season of being a high school rower was cut short due to the COVID-19 outbreak, senior Charley Griffiths’ rowing career is far from over. After being a coxswain in the Marina Aquatic Center junior rowing team for all four years of high school, Griffiths has committed to Division 1 rowing at the University of California, Berkeley

Cal was the school I felt the most connected to. I think it has the best balance between academics and athletics. With a really strong rowing program, I think I will be able to thrive there,” Griffiths said. “I also think the team values on Cal’s team are really similar to the values on my own team right now, and so that was where I felt more at home.” 

Chris Griffiths, Griffiths’ mom, believes Charley chose the school that is “right fit” for her. 

“We are so proud of Charley because she had the courage and determination to pick a college, based on the desire to row competitively in college and a school that was the right fit for her. In this decision, we feel Charley exemplified her growing hallmark of integrity and poise,” she said. “With that, we feel her ability to self-evaluate and value her instincts will guide her well at Cal.”

Charley Griffiths decided she wanted to continue rowing in college after completing her second season as a coxswain during her sophomore year. 

“Rowing became such a big part of my life — I think I spend more time at the boathouse than I do at my actual house,” Griffiths said. “Because of that, I thought it would be really fun and beneficial for me to be part of a team in college and as a move into the next stage of my life. Rowing hasn’t seen the last of me.”

Griffiths said rowing has impacted her high school experience in many ways, as it has been one of the biggest commitments in her life. 

“I’ve learned a lot about myself from being on a team sport, specifically as a coxswain. The biggest takeaway from this experience has been finding my own voice and confidence in myself,” Griffiths said. “I’ve also had to miss a lot of school for rowing, and I had to prioritize rowing over a lot of different things like social events. Rowing has also been the main extracurricular I have participated in, which has really been a positive thing for me because I’ve been able to hone in on my passion.” 

Chris Griffiths echoed her daughter’s statement about how she has gained confidence. She believes that being a coxswain has allowed Charley to exemplify many “strengths.” 

“I think my favorite part of Charley’s journey as a coxswain on a rowing team is watching Charley’s confidence grow. Charley has tremendous focus and has always loved being on a team,” Griffiths said. “With every challenge, she brings enthusiasm and vigor. As a coxswain, many of her strengths are at play: her ability to problem solve and think quickly, her ability to stay calm and confidently lead, and her ability to let things go if it doesn’t go her way.” 

The lessons Griffiths has learned from this experience have impacted her life beyond the sport, and she hopes to continue learning in her time on Cal’s team. 

I’ve been allowed to really build strong friendships because I know what commitment to something means,” Griffiths said. “It means showing up, being present and putting your all into everything you do. I’m excited to continue exploring this in college and in the years to come.”