Fifth Former Gardner Howe is leading the boys’ varsity crew team through another strong season, including a second place finish at the Mercer Springs and a win at the 26th annual Brown Cup competition. He’ll row for the Bears next year when he attends Brown University.
How long have you been rowing and what led you to the sport?
I've been rowing since sophomore year. I played varsity tennis my freshman year. I thought I was going to be a D1 tennis player but it’s hard to be a competitive tennis player when you're a boarder because of the time constraints and where you can play.
I had a lot of close friends on the rowing team, I was tall, and my dad rowed in college, so I thought I'd give it a try. I talked to Mr. [Ben] Wright (boys’ varsity crew head coach) my sophomore winter and I really liked being able to erg next to the guys and beat them based off of physical effort. I gave it a shot my sophomore year and haven't looked back since.
What's your favorite part about the crew team at Lawrenceville?
We are competitive. Our crew team is top ten in the nation most years and we're hypercompetitive with every other school. We also have great facilities at Mercer Lake. It’s where the national team rows. Also, I think that Mr. Wright does a really great job getting guys really psyched about rowing and about training, so that we are always turning out students that are rowing in college because of how good our program is.
How has the team been doing so far and what is the outlook for the team this year?
We beat Kent in our first race, which we haven't done since 2015, and it's our second time in School history. We started off the year really strong but had a couple of illnesses and injuries, myself included. We are already planning a trip to [the] Henley [Royal Regatta] in England, so we will be training all the way through June and July. On top of that, we will maybe go to the national championships in Ohio, where we can definitely get a top three finish. We can be as strong as we want to this year.
How do you manage crew with your academic commitments?
Crew is a really big time commitment. It's a lot of hours. We don't get out of practice until 6:30 p.m., maybe later, every single day. Sometimes we have workouts in the morning before class. It's tough to manage but, at the same time, myself and a lot of guys on the team actually get our best grades in the spring. We have so little time that it has to be structured well. That can help some guys out, even if you can't do all of the extracurriculars you would in a non-crew season.
What clubs do you do?
I am president of the Investment Club and a member of the Sports Business Club.
Do you plan to keep rowing in college and beyond?
Yes, I committed to Brown this fall. They are a top five team in the country, so I'm really psyched to go after national championships with them.
In terms of rowing past college, rowing is an amateur sport so there is not really a professional league. I'm going to try to row at the Under 23's world championships. I got cut from the U19 championship team last year late in the process, but I think I can make the U23 team. If my passion for rowing really grows and I fall in love with it more than I already am, I would give international competition a thought, but I'm just really focused on rowing at Brown right now.
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