All Images Taken by Zachary Nedell.
After many months of practicing through the off-season, Malden High’s rowing team has prepared through thick and thin to be ready for every meet, and on a chilly April morning, the team was prepared to compete against Somerville, Medford, Everett, and Gentle Giants, a private rowing club.
The rowers converged at 6:30 AM to prepare for the coming game. As the other teams came to the boat house, Malden prepared to launch their boats.
At around 9:30, the first Malden boat was in the water, and twenty minutes later spectators watched as they tried to pick out which team was which from across the water.
As both teams valiantly charged ahead, Gentle Giants, unfortunately, took the win against Malden with a time of five minutes and forty-nine seconds, versus Malden's six minutes and twenty-eight seconds.
The day continued to go by as spectators watched, enthralled by the close match of Gentle Giants versus Somerville with only a three-second difference.
Eventually, Malden was able to get their eight-man boat out. With a sense of determination and a will to win, both Malden and Somerville’s eight boats had an amazing start. Just as it looked like Somerville might pull ahead, their oars got stuck in the water, giving Malden more than enough time to capitalize off their error, landing the team their first victory of the meet with a time of six minutes and twenty-eight seconds.
After their hard-won victory, more races between the other teams occur with Gentle Giants taking a lead against Everett.
With that, the preliminaries closed, and the finals finally began. Somerville triumphed against Gentle Giants twice in a row, leaving Malden to prepare for their last two races. It was a close match but Malden lost by just two seconds to Medford and three to Gentle Giants.
Senior rower Christine Wang thought the team did extremely well, commenting on the team's power and strength. “We tried our best but we feel like we still need to improve a lot in terms of our form,”. she continued, mentioning how important it was to work on getting boats out to the water faster and faster.
Senior, and captain of the team, Ryan Li was impressed by the team's performance despite their numbers disadvantage. He credited the eight-boat race as the team's first big victory of the season. The hardest part for him was the back-to-back rowing which he plans to fight alongside the team with more stamina training. “We're definitely well-rounded and we'll definitely be able to bounce back and row harder.”
Coach Kevin Isaza, praised the crew team for their tremendous growth in the current season. While the team still has to focus on timing, both in and out of the water, this game was a tremendous win for the team. It was challenging, being a smaller team and having to pull and put kids in the boats, get other boats out of the water, and have the players row 10 minutes later was very stressful on the kid's bodies.” While the lack of a grace period was difficult, Malden made sure to push through, stronger than ever.
The team looks forward to the Mayor's Cup, their biggest meet of the season. Isaza expressed his confidence and excitement in the team, making sure to note how “We are aiming big this season! This is a strong team and we have made tremendous leaps from last year.”