Gliding across the dark water of the Tampa Bypass Canal, Katie Hall and Alexa King are rowing in unison. Looking at the front of their boat, it is hard to tell if they are one or two rowers.
They train through a combination of rowing on water and working out on an ergometer (erg for short) six days a week, which keeps them in competitive shape. Their hard work led them to representing Newsome High School at the 2019 National Rowing Championships in Columbus, OH. The girls competed against 12 other teams from across the United States and took 9th overall with a time of 6:38 for the 1,500-meter course.
The pair recently earned their Varsity Letters representing Newsome High School as competitive academic rowers. When not rowing for Newsome High School, they train and practice with the Plant High School rowing team.
When asked what they like most about rowing, the girls stated, “It’s challenging yet fun. We have so many friends and have built some great camaraderie.”
“Katie and Alexa have been wonderful additions to our Palm River Training Center team, under the Plant High Rowing Association. These two rising juniors have achieved quite a lot in their short time as rowing athletes. As any rowing athlete will tell you, it is not an easy sport,” said Coach Mike Smith of Plant City High School.
“The physical requirements demand that you push your body to aerobic and anaerobic exhaustion. The time commitments to be competitive require you to manage your studies and social life with expert finesse,” he added.
Katie and Alexa have achieved a high level of success at the state level earning them a spot to compete on the national level under the Newsome High name and Palm River Training’s guidance at the Scholastic Rowing Association of America’s championship regatta.
Coach Smith said, “We are both proud and grateful to have such fine athletes as part of our growing team.”
As for the future, both Katie and Alexa reported that they will be training hard over the summer to get ready for the fall competitions.
If you are interested in rowing and want to represent Newsome High School, please contact Scott Hall for details at firstname.lastname@example.org.