Photos by Kathy L. Collins The Tampa Prep novice/freshman girls 4x team slides into dock during the 2012 Novice Regatta.
Normally when we think about high school water sports, we really only think of swimming and diving and maybe water polo. Unlike other sports that are played in a gym, on a field or in a pool, crew (also called rowing) is a sport in which athletes race each other on rivers, lakes or even the ocean. The boats are then propelled forward by the rowers oar blades as they are pushed against the water. Like other sports, crew can get very competitive as overall fitness and techniques play a large role during competitions.
While most high school students do not have the chance to participate in crew, Reese Mcullough (Brandon), Katie McCormick (Brandon) and Katie Collins (Valrico) are currently competing on their high school crew team at Tampa Preparatory School. All three attended schools in Brandon before transferring to Tampa Prep. The Tampa Prep varsity crew season goes from February through April and competitions take place over the weekends, like the 2012 Novice Regatta held on February 11.
Both Mcullough and McCormick are rowers for their teams, while Collins is the coxswain for the novice/freshman girls 4x team. The coxswain, or cox, is in charge of steering the boat, giving instructions to the rowers, checking the boat speed and more.
For Collins, this is the first time she has gotten involved with a sports team at Tampa Prep. “I decided to try out for crew because I thought it would be a fun sport to try,” she said. “Crew is different from other sports and I like it. I’ve found that it’s a good team sport and it’s easy to make a lot of friends. I’m definitely going to continue with crew next year.”
Over the past two years the Tampa Prep rowing team has won four State Championships and a top 10 national ranking. The team has also has many of its members receive athletic scholarships to colleges such as Clemson University, University of Texas, Boston College and Alabama. For more information about the Tampa Preparatory School crew team, visit www.tampaprep.org.