Many people are not aware, but there is actually a girls rowing team at STA. One of the reasons people don’t know about the team is because, although it has mainly consisted of girls that go to STA, it used to be open to students at other schools and fell under the team name of Hollywood Girls Rowing Club. As of this year, the team is now named Aquinas Rowing and is only open to students at STA. The girls train 5-6 days a week throughout the year, depending on the time in the season, which lasts from August through June. Rowing is unlike any other sport, as it uses all major muscle groups in the body and it requires participants to work their absolute hardest for not only themselves but their teammates. If even one person makes a small mistake it can unset the boat causing it to lose speed, sometimes costing them the race.
Rowing is a sport that uses oars fixed to a boat to move the vessel. Rowers use their bodies to pull the oar through the water while driving their legs down the slide on a moving seat. It’s a sport that requires extreme mental focus, physical toughness, and commitment. There are two different types of rowing: sweeping and sculling. Beginning rowers practice Sweeping, using one oar to “sweep” through the water. Sculling can be seen as somewhat tougher, as it uses two oars that cross over each other and usually a smaller boat.
When asked about the sport in an interview with the Raider Review, Elaina Loveless, a coach of the STA girls rowing team and a Northeastern University alumna said, “I’ve done lots of sports and rowing is probably the only sport I’ve ever done that actually requires teamwork and team camaraderie. You can do anything on a field and, guess what, you’ll be the one to make the shot eventually- in rowing if one person decides to deviate, you’re screwed. End of story. And honestly, just in general, rowing is the top female scholarship sport in the US, as it provides girls with all types of opportunities that you won’t get in any other sport including volleyball, basketball, nothing… And rowing has a diverse community that includes anyone of any size and shape and can actually bring people together- the most unlikely friends into becoming the best.”
Throughout the season, both novice and varsity have brought home countless medals at regattas, recently winning trophies from both Sculling and Sweep States. The girls Junior 8+ won 1st place and the team placed 2nd overall for scholastic teams at Sweep State Championships, reserving them a spot at Scholastic Nationals. On May 26th and 27th the team attended nationals in Tennessee, winning 2nd place in the girls Junior 8+ and 11th place in the girls JV 4+ out of school teams in the entire nation.
Kathleen Wojtas, the STA varsity rowing coach and team director, has high hopes for the upcoming 2023-2024 season. She wants to expand the size of their team as they currently only consist of 28 girls. She stated, “The more people, the more opportunities for success. With even the small size of the current team, we were able to get 2nd in the nation so imagine what we would be able to accomplish with even more girls!”
For more information about the team visit the HRC Instagram page and website: