Video & Story by Andre Hascall
Five years ago HSU’s women’s crew won their very first national championship.
This year, these women are on a route to get title number two led by team captain MacKenzie Danies, an engineering major from West Linn, Ore.
“This year this team is different than any other team we’ve had… the energy and the excitement for everything we do is crazy,” Danies said. “We know that getting up at 5 a.m. is for a purpose and for us to potentially win nationals.”
Danies has high aspirations for her team this year.
“This year we have a good chance to be the best team on the west coast,”Danies said. “I think that aside from our rowing accomplishments this year we are just a great group of girls, because we’re a family.”
Rowing is very demanding with early morning practice times, so having veteran leadership and a positive attitude is essential.
Ripley McChesney, a wildlife major and geospatial studies minor from Davis, Calif., is entering her fourth year here at HSU.
“I’ve been rowing for eight years now; my goal is to make this year my best one since it’s my last,” McChesney said. “I think that this team is perfect for that. They are motivated, and they make me more motivated, especially when everyone is having a great time so early in the morning.”
The end goal for this team is clear, as the mindset seems to be wanting a championship all around. Fourth year rower and kinesiology major, Alexia Robledo believes that this team has a shot at glory.
“This is my fourth and final year rowing at HSU. My goals are to do the best that I can for this team and hopefully get a shot at winning nationals,” Robledo said. Robledo gave gratitude to her team for having great camaraderie.
After winning in 2012, the journey back to championship fame has been eventful. Coach Robin Meiggs is confident in her team’s ability for success this year, with a mix of veteran leadership and energized first year rowers.
“I see a lot of kids that think they need to go D1 as a conduit for rowing. Getting kids to come to HSU to row is challenging,” Meiggs said. “We generally create our team as walk-ons, every year from the bottom up. So, we have to get these girls in the position to compete with other teams stacked with rowers.”