My name is Burke, and I’ve been rowing since my freshman year. I was introduced to the sport through my dad who rowed at the collegiate level. During the summers before my eighth grade and freshman year, I attended the Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club middle school summer camp, four weeks of introductory rowing led by members of the varsity crew. During this introduction, I realized a strong affinity for the sport. The teamwork of rowing is like no other sport, and I find that very appealing. In my experience with athletics, rowing is a physically demanding and competitive sport, but what I find most appealing about it is the strong team culture.
Looking back over the last varsity season makes me realize I’ve made real progress as a rower. During the 2018 Midwest Junior Championships, my coach moved me up to stroking both the third varsity 8+ and third varsity 4+. Coach Hull had never given me a leading role in an advanced boat. These racing experiences were incredibly formative to me; I learned to set the pace, maintain the swing, and pay attention to other factors, all of which gave me a better understanding of the boat and the race and made me more aware of my responsibilities as a rower in a seat behind the stroke. The discipline required taught me that it is necessary to be adaptable and to hold ground, never giving up regardless of the conditions. I have always looked up to my coaches and my team leaders, and I think learning from them has given me a solid goal that I want to strive for. The Midwest Championship this past year felt like a perfect ending to my season and made me feel as though I had grown and made real progress as a rower. Moving up to stroking the third 8+ and third 4+ and rowing with more experienced people in my team felt like a massive step up not only in seat position, but also in the team itself; it was a bonding experience with my teammates and friends in my 4+ especially, and I will always value those races in my development as a rower.
I’ve grown closer to my teammates, and I like knowing both the older, more experienced and younger, newer rowers. The coaches and team captains I have rowed under have had a significant positive impact on my view of the sport, and I like guiding the younger rowers in the same way that the older rowers guided me before. I have learned a lot about the sport, but more importantly, I have learned a lot about myself. Presently, I’m drawn to small to medium-sized schools, located near or in a city in the northeast, midwest, mid-Atlantic, and southeast. I would like to be part of a competitive team that has a strong team culture. I’m still learning about the possibilities, but ultimately I would like to attend a school that provides me with opportunities to contribute and grow as both a student and as an athlete.