The designation of a Pocock All-American is one of the highest honors one can attain in women’s collegiate rowing. The title is not just given to athletes who have racked up exemplary achievements on the water, but to those who else flourish in the classroom. This year, seniors Lauren Tracey and Frederika Archibald—members of the women’s heavyweight crew team—were honored as first-team and second-team All-Americans, respectively.
“It recognizes the top athletes in each program in the country,” said Harvard assistant coach Kelly Evans ’10 about the designation. “Basically it’s a recognition that you are a top athlete within your college rowing program and that you’ve had a strong season.”
Archibald and Tracey join the ranks of 40 other Division I female rowers across the country to receive the honor from the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association.
To earn a spot on the Pocock All-American roster, both athletes needed to be nominated by Radcliffe Crew. To qualify for nomination, the duo had to have rowed in the varsity boat for 75 percent of the previous year’s races and meet the eligbility rules specified by Harvard. After having been nominated for the award, the duo were evaluated on individual achievements, erg scores, boat performance, and the recommendation of their coach.
This year marks the fourth time in five years that the Crimson has had more than one woman recognized as a Pocock All-American. Harvard’s three-year streak came to an end last year when only Jenna Gregoire ’15 received the nod.
Before rowing for the Crimson, Tracey and Archibald built up their rowing resumes, beginning in high school. Both athletes were avid rowers in their hometowns—Tracey in Honeoye Falls, N.Y. and Archibald in New Zealand.
“It’s the All-American award, but I’m so not American,” Archibald said.
Archibald has been a regular in the varsity boat since her freshman year in 2013, but she does not view the All-American honor as her end goal each season.
“The main goal…would be to win an Ivy Championship this year,” Archibald said. “I think that I have pretty high expectations for myself when it comes to rowing, and I expect that they transfer to the whole team. I think that translates into a pretty strong work ethic.”
At Harvard, Archibald is a psychology concentrator who is also an avid spokesperson for women’s athletics. Her most recent pursuit involved organizing a meeting between the captains of various Harvard women’s athletic teams to discuss the betterment for both mental and physical health and happiness of women in athletics.
For Tracey, the accolade of Pocock All-American came as a surprise. She picked up rowing in high school on a whim but was unsure about her standing both as a student and an athlete during her freshman year of college. However, as a senior, Tracey has more than comfortably fulfilled both roles to the best of her ability.
“I started rowing because my mom rowed for a year in college,” Tracey said. “My first year here it took me a while to adjust to school. I trained really hard over the summers and rededicated myself to rowing, and it’s been a huge part of my time at school.”
Evans notes the drive that earned Archibald and Tracey the awards has helped the entire team continue to strive.
“Lauren and Freddie are both athletes that are consistently at the top of the program, both in terms of their strengths on the erg and their success on the water,” Evans said. “Both drive the team to higher and higher standards—that’s just who they are. They’re both tough. They row well, they train hard, and they’re committed to winning and committed to going fast.”
—Staff writer Amanda X. Fang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.