Schuylerville High School sophomore Emily Swenson is coming off an ambitious rowing season with an outstanding record. Swenson, who began rowing with the Saratoga Rowing Association (SRA) in eighth grade, began her outdoor season April 29 at the Saratoga Invitational. Since winning first place in both her junior single and her second varsity eight, as well as second place in her second varsity quad, Swenson has gone on to compete against rowers from across the United States and Canada in four additional competitions in less than a month.
“It can be hard and at times tiring to compete so often, but I know that every race makes me stronger and more experienced, plus, it is really fun,” Swenson said.
Swenson’s second regatta was May 7 at the North American Junior B Championship Regatta. She won first in the Girl’s U17 single, winning the Michelle Guerette Trophy. Next, was the New York State Championships. Swenson finished fourth overall behind three seniors. Her time qualified her to compete at Nationals later in the season.
“It was very exciting to know that my hard work had paid off,” Swenson said. “I tried not to think about the other girls in my race as better or older. It was exciting to know that I could compete with them. They pushed me. It was a great race.”
On May 19, Swenson rowed her single, finishing second out of 24 boats in the Stotesbury Cup in Philadelphia. Finally, over Memorial Day weekend, Swenson took part in the Scholastic Rowing Association of America National Championship Regatta in Pennsauken, New Jersey. She won her semi-final heat by 13 seconds and finished fourth of 15 in the national finals.
“It was an impressive finish. Emily was off by just three seconds from third place and she was in good company,” Athletic Director John Bowen said. “The three girls who placed ahead of her are all seniors going to three of the most highly regarded Division I rowing programs in the country.”
Swenson rows year-round. Over the summer she trains to compete in the Royal Canadian Henley in August and in the fall she competes as a member of the SRA team.
“In the fall, I am very lucky to be able to row with such a talented group of people,” Swenson said. “Being in a single in the spring can be a little intimidating, especially when your competitors are older, but it is great experience for me and I am very excited to keep building my skills.”