By Yaz Farooq
“A single arrow is easily broken, a quiver of ten is not. – Japanese Proverb
We began the year with the aim of building the strongest and most complete team possible from top to bottom. We determined that we would need to take a deep look at who we are and what we stand for, as individuals, and as a team. Led by Commodore Maggie Phillips, ’17, the team created The Husky Standard of Performance, a mission statement we agreed to uphold and live by in our quest to be the best team in word, deed and boat speed.
We addressed each aspect of performance, arrows if you will, and we’ve been adding them, one by one to our quiver: commitment to the training program, embracing team technique, trust in one another, accountability in every practice. We acknowledged the responsibility to represent our university with honor, and to be grateful for the generosity of our alums and donors.
The fall went well. We committed to mixed lineups and being versatile racers, ready for any lineup and any scenario. We lost a skeg upon launching in Sacramento. Like a NASCAR pit crew, everyone pitched in and the eight made it to the line on time! Success in team and small boats at the Head of the American and the Head of the Lake with this “ready for anything” mindset added two more arrows to the quiver.
The winter is a grind by design, but we’ve approached it intelligently with everyone understanding and committing to the “whys” behind each step, in essence, adding the feathers, the aerodynamic stabilization, to each and every arrow.
In February we celebrated the history of our women’s program at our second annual Alumnae Brunch, where over 200 women, spanning four plus decades, gathered to share what Washington Rowing means to each of us. We met the women from the 70’s who pioneered our modern day program. We learned of the love and spirit of the Husky sisterhood. Definitely a few more arrows in the quiver from these inspiring women.
To that end, it has been a joy these past months to watch the team step up on land and water, racing for inches on the erg and in boats. We’ve had some key practices with the men’s team where we’ve built boathouse unity and hopefully pushed one another to find another gear. These teamwork arrows fly the truest.
We will be led by seniors Sophia Baker, Kadie Brown, Bella Chilczuk, Anouschka Fenley, Delaney Goetz, Dani Hansen, Maggie Phillips, Phoebe Spoors, Jalyn Stinardo and Val Vogt. Seniors committed to leaving their mark on a new chapter of the program.
When you get this issue of SWEEP we will be heading to Nevada (yes, Nevada!) for our first race of the season on March 4, on the new course on Lake Las Vegas. There we will take on USC—an unpredictable and perennially strong PAC-12 team—the perfect early season sparring partner. Our next stop will be the PAC-12 Challenge where we will join Cal and Stanford to take on powerhouses Ohio State, Virginia and Michigan. We’ll rejoin our men’s team in Oregon for the Oregon State Classic where we will race Oregon State, UCLA and Washington State on Dexter Lake. The annual Cal dual on Montlake Cut and a trip to Pullman to race Washington State will end our regular season prior to Opening Day.
Our arrows will need to be razor sharp for the annual battle that is the PAC-12 Championship, the toughest conference championship in the country, and the gateway to the NCAA’s.
Like an arrow’s journey to the center of a bullseye, a straight and direct path is best. And we plan to race this season with a quiver full of them.