Head of the Charles '11
Eight official national championships. Eight more unofficial national championships. Twenty-seven Eastern Sprints titles in the varsity eight, and 21 in the second varsity. Twenty-one undefeated dual seasons.
Harry Parker is unquestionably a winner. But the statistics are only the tip of the iceberg.
When the pace picks up in the boat, balance is needed to keep it steady and on course.
And for Kirsten Van Fossen, the same balance is needed to manage everything else in her fast-paced life. In addition to being co-captain of Radcliffe heavyweight crew, the senior is also pursuing a degree in engineering sciences and singing for an all-female a cappella group, the Harvard Fallen Angels.
As athletes ready themselves to compete at this weekend’s Head of the Charles regatta—an event that drew the attention of more than 300,000 spectators last year—the river has been buzzing with activity.
But for Harvard lightweight rowers junior Matt O’Leary, classmate Erich Schultze, sophomore Michael Wales, and junior Alex Newell, who competed as a quad at the 2011 World Rowing Under-23 Championships this summer, preparation for the upcoming season began many months ago.
Though the face of Radcliffe lightweight crew has changed drastically over the past year, the team has found stability and leadership in co-captain Marissa Reichel.
“Marissa is an amazing athlete and a great leader on the team,” senior coxswain Maryana Vrubel said. “She’s been doing a really great job as captain. It’s nice to have someone so dependable on the team.”
One of the major challenges facing any college student centers around the fact that there are so many things to do, see, enjoy, and experience during one’s undergraduate years.
The challenge of walking a tightrope between different time commitments is even larger for the numerous student-athletes at Harvard.