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The Beach Crew Journals

With the Spring 2010 season already underway, many of us look back at the first stroke we took on the water and ponder where we stand up to the rest of the crews we face, let alone competing with our own peers to get seated in the boat. It was a time that left us confused, frustrated, and asking the question, “Why am I doing this?” We asked athletes to look back at that. It’s all a blur to them now, but there are still some fond memories of the first day on the water…


The experience that crew gave me has been the greatest of my collegiate career. The bonds that grow between everyone is amazing. You meet great people that become your friends, practically for life. When I first started I was skeptical and couldn’t figure out why students would get up so early. That quickly changed once I was put into the boat for the first time. Before we were in the boats we were on the ergs and they weren’t the greatest practices to past the time with. After experiencing the water for a change, that was when I realized I loved this sport. It was so much fun to make a boat go so fast just by ourselves.

I have always been very competitive and crew has been a perfect outsource for this. Waking up every morning at 5:00 AM is not the easiest thing to do, but it’s rewarding to know that you have already done more than what most people will do in their entire day. Crew has definitely helped me become a stronger person, mentally and physically. Beach Crew will always have a niche in my memories and I look forward to what’s ahead.

Matt Bass
Men’s Novice Team


From day one, I was skeptical of the sport. 5:00 AM practices. Weekend Regattas. Weekend Practices. Stay awake in class. I chose this transition. I wanted to compete in a collegiate sport again. Crew made me become disciplined and it taught me how to work hard for something. Beach Crew to me is one-of-a-kind fraternity because we all look out for each other out on the water, on land workouts, and on the ergs. If someone is not “pulling”, they push you to make sure you can and do it. I am a small person for this sport so I thought I was not going to be able to participate, but I found within myself the heart of a lion. The workouts we do in crew are much harder than what I did in track & field. I got a taste for a real race and stayed hungry ever since. I apply this vigor in my personal life and everyday friends, family, and coworkers notice the difference in me.

I have a great appreciation for this sport and its athletes. This is a very classy sport and although I do not like waking up early every morning, I have become humbled by it. In crew, I also learned how to become more assertive and hone in on leadership skills. In the fall, I spent majority of my time as a coxswain. From the outside looking in, I was under the impression they just steered the boat. How wrong was I once I sat in that seat! You have to motivate, lead, and synchronize these rowers, which at times were easier said than done. Crew has also matured me. I am older than a lot of the rowers and coxswains so I have made sure I carry myself in a way that others can look up too. I thank my coaches for further increasing my college experience. Like they say, college is more than just going to class but it is the friendships, networks, and groups that surround yourself which create the true college experience.

Ajany Penny
Men’s Novice Team