Just as most Brooks students are settling in to the new year on campus, fall sports and their classes, Clare Naughton '18 was headed out — to Florida.
She jetted down to the sunshine state on September 20 at the invitation of the U.S. Rowing organization to participate in the first-ever Youth Regional Challenge at the 2017 World Rowing Championships on September 23 in Sarasota-Bradenton.
"I was super excited and honored to be asked to participate in the event," said the athlete (second from left) from Burlington, Mass. "I knew when I tried out that the competition would be tough just to make the team, so I was ecstatic when I made it!"
More than 900 athletes had applied to join the event, kicking off a week of competition which featured 312 of the top Under-19 rowers from across the country racing in eights and quadruple sculls.
Naughton raced in her Brooks gear representing the Northeast region and is pleased to report that she placed third in the petite finals or B finals.
"I got a small taste of what its like to compete at the next level and I met some incredible people," said the student, who hopes to row for a Division-One program in college.
The experience was once-in-a-lifetime, she added. "The venue was amazing and the water was perfect. I had never rowed on anything like it. The day the races began I forgot that I was also going to race because I was watching all these Olympians and national-level athletes race before me. Anytime a rower passed by, all I wanted to do was get their autograph or a picture with them! I was a complete fan-girl."
And though Naughton's teammates Riley Baker '18, Emma English '18, Bella O'Shea '18 and Lindsay Russell '19 weren't with her in Florida, she said they were always on her mind.
"My team here at Brooks has made me the rower I am today," she said. "They push me to do better every day, and I think we all hold each other to a high standard on and off the water. When its crunch time we all pull through for each other, so I just applied that in the boat during the Youth Regional Challenge. I pulled for the other girls in my boat, just like I do here at Brooks."
For more about crew at Brooks, visit our Teams and Schedules page.
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