Athletes Worth Watching: Gunston School Crew Team
Jun 22, 2016 02:10PM ● Published by Cate Reynolds
A small school with big school results! The Gunston School of Centreville has found the sport perfectly designed for their beautiful waterfront campus, Crew. Within minutes of classes ending, crew members can be in their shell and on the water. Combine that with an experienced coaching staff, competing in two full seasons (fall and spring) along with a winter training season and you end up with kids ready for the competition.
The crew team was started in 2006 as a fun water sport. Not really competitive but fun for the kids. Enter Nicole (Nicky) Stimpson, former assistant crew coach at Navy, plus an ever growing number of enthusiastic kids and you start to see the formation of a competitive team. Because of the small roster of inexperienced kids, Coach Nicky started the team in four- and eight-man boats. After a while, as the team grew, they started adding novice boats (eight-man) along with JV and Varsity boats. In 2014, they started winning, qualifying for the Maryland State Championships and the ultra-competitive Scholastic National Championships. By 2015, the girls and boys squads were medaling at the Maryland State Championships and had good results at the SNC. Not bad for a team where 90 percent of its participants hadn't any prior rowing experience.
Now with a roster of 44 kids, the depth of the team provides opportunities to field multiple JV and Novice boats so that everybody can train and compete. To produce winning seasons though, you definitely need standouts on the team. These team members are not only strong rowers, they have shown leadership skills both in and out of their boats.
For the boys:Garrett Rudolph is a sophomore that presently crews on the JV four-man boat. Because of his growing strength and speed, this season Garrett is in strong contention for a spot on the Varsity four-man. Ethan Boone (junior) was on the spring 2015 Varsity four-man boat that placed third at the Maryland State Championships, alongside other standouts junior Ben Jones and senior Will Burch. Alex Papadopoulos rounds out the top five. He is a sophomore on the JV four-man with a new top “erg” score (the “erg” or ergometer score is based on individual time on the rowing machine). A fast time could qualify you to crew on the Varsity boat.
For the girls:Senior, Aggie Raymond, qualified for Nationals two years in a row and also rows on the Varsity four-man. Captain of the team, senior Kylee Naumann is the captain for good reason; she is a true leader of the team and rows on the Varsity four-man. Junior Madeline Romberger learned to row last spring and already has the top “erg” score on the girls’ side and could qualify to row on the Varsity boat. Rounding out the standout list are sisters Olivia and Elaina Sherman. Olivia (a junior) showed such big improvement during the winter training session, that this may be her break out year. Elaina is a freshman whose first time rowing was this fall and she already has the top novice “erg" score. A true testament to her hard work and dedication.
Gunston is a team to watch not only on the shores of the Corsica River but against top competitors on the Western Shore and beyond.