The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


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Crew Gators glide through season

From front to back, Haley Strickbine, Norah Dentz, Sarah Strickbine and Sydney Hertzberg are pictured rowing in the four. The Gators glide through the water at Tempe Town Lake for practice. (Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Stricklin)

Xavier College Preparatory’s crew team is known for fundamentals of friendships and competitiveness.

On November 12, 2023, the crew Gators competed in a head race, which consists of 5000 meters. In this race, our freshwomen placed third.

In the eight, shells with eight rowers, the stroke seat was held by Sienna Goforth ‘27, seat 7 was held by Sofia Carbajal ‘27, seat 6 by Haydren Byrne ‘27, seat 5 by Sophie Robaina ‘27, seat 4 by Mary Yates ‘27, seat 3 by Ella Boyle ‘27, seat 2 by Cara Boyle ‘27, and the bow seat was held by Ellie Gross ‘27. This boat was coxed and steered by Kalani Hernandez ‘25.

Head coach Geoffrey Stricklin and assistant coach Chase Hoyt gave an in-depth and structured race plan for the Gators as they disrupted energy through their 5k journey. 

“I try to push our rowers by appealing to their own desire for excellence. I believe each of us wants to grow and be our best: mentally, physically, morally, spiritually. It is a matter of awakening that desire in our rowers by showing them the pleasure of pushing beyond perceived limits and attaining mastery,” Stricklin said. 

In the four, shells with four rowers, the stroke seat was held by Yates, seat 3 by Cara Boyle, seat 2 by Soledad Tumialan ‘27, and the bow seat was held by Mia Gemoll ‘27. The boat was coxed and steered by Dahlia Cheney ‘27.

This boat of Gators placed third with their efforts. 

Hernandez describes her position as a coxswain, “It’s really hard. You have to be able to multitask. I call the strategy, I steer and I have to know what’s going on around me so I can let the girls know what is going on, and motivate them all at the same time. The girls are so supportive, work very hard, and seeing them grow is really inspiring and motivates me to be better.” 

Abby Pearson ‘24, also describes her time in crew, “It’s challenging, but highly rewarding, because you create tight bonds with your teammates.” 

Pearson is currently slated to be a walk-on for Northwestern University for rowing. She will be attending in the fall.

“Crew is a way to work on persevering through challenges. It pushes me to be the strongest version of myself,” Pearson added. She sees crew as a place of hard work, companionship and a focus for the fundamentals of the team.

Cara Schillinger ‘24, is one of the fastest on the crew team, known to bring positive energy and patience to her teammates. Pearson explains, “I am proud of her commitment and all her positive energy she brings to practice.” 

Schillinger committed to Massachusetts Institute of Technology for rowing on February 7, 2024 at the NLI signing event at Xavier.

The Gators’ next race is called Desert Sprints on March 3. It is a 1k sprint race at Tempe Town Lake Marina.

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