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Love at First Stroke


Photo by Megan Smith


By Haley Fenninger

Novice Rower

As a freshman in college, taking on a sport in your first year can be risky, but rowing has already impacted my life for the better.

I’ve always been an early bird, but waking up at four in the morning to an exhilarating workout by 5:30 has been an amazing lifestyle change. Seeing the sunrise in a boat with some of the greatest people, it can’t be beat.

In the short time I’ve been rowing, I have already begun to fall in love with the sport and everything it entails. As a novice, I only hope to get better. And I believe with the encouragement, friendliness, and kindness from the team — especially from varsity — I can get there. Both varsity and other novices have been so kind and supportive of one another. It is an amazing atmosphere to be around and a breath of fresh air.

From the get-go, everyone was accepted into the team, and I can’t tell you how relieving it was not to have tension and that awkward feeling when you first start something new.

I want to extend my sincerest thanks to Ariana Gastelum, who has, from the beginning, taken me under her wing, supported me, and has been such a pleasure to be around.

I can’t wait to see what rowing has in store for me and the rest of our team! I already consider us all as a family.

10704020_733972946656463_1601544857796509780_nPhoto by Sydney Abad

(From left to right) Sarah Dresser, Ariana Gastelum, Sydney Abad, Haley Fenninger and Sam McFeely watched the sunset together at last weekend’s team bonfire.