Photo by Katie Weeks ‘16
Senior rower Kristen Propst led her lightweight four to a gold medal at the Kerr Cup. She aims to win another gold at the Dad Vails Regatta on May 9th.
When did you start crew and why?
I started freshman year. I did it mostly because I ran all through high school and I needed something to do here. Someone mentioned that it was competitive and I needed that.
What specifically about crew do you enjoy?
It gives me two hours to be outside every day, which is nice. Also it’s the aspect of being an individual sport, but you can’t do it without everyone around you. It’s a cool team thing. If you’re bad then the entire row will be bad. You need to not only be an athlete in general but you need to be the technical person. Without the technical skill, you can’t be productive on the water.
Explain the difficulties of synchronized rowing. How challenging is it?
It’s eight people trying to work together in a line. You can’t see what the person in front of you is even doing which makes it really hard. You’re also going as fast as you can so you can’t breathe trying to follow the person. And any minute inch that your hand raises the boat will crash to one side, throwing everything off.
What is your ideal river to row on?
I really like the Schuylkill River down on Boathouse Row. Everything about it is amazing, the history and how the officials wear suites and ties.
Is your favorite scene in The Social Network the rowing scene?
No, not at all. The one part where the Winklevoss twins say ‘we row crew.’ I was just like, no.
Your lightweight fours team won gold at the Kerr Cup. How satisfying was that?
It was really awesome. We won an open weight event. It’s hard for girls because we’re all under 130 pounds and we’re racing against massive girls that are six foot tall and giants. To be able to win that was really nice.
Most difficult aspect of rowing?
The 6 a.m. practices. The two-a-days go throughout the winter. It pays off but sometimes I’d rather go out one night and because of practice at 5 a.m. I can’t.
The team travels to Stetson University in Deland, Florida every year for spring break. What kind of opportunity does this allow to compete and improve?
This year we raced Tufts and Stetson. It’s a good time for the whole team to come together. Before the trip it’s very separate between teams so down there it’s more about the playing at the pool than it is the rowing.
Favorite Food: Spaghetti and meatballs
Favorite Movie: Mean Girls
Favorite Athlete: Mary Whipple
Favorite River: Schuylkill River
Favorite Vacation Spot: Outer Banks, North Carolina