The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Abby Camp commits to Georgetown University rowing

Courtesy Abby Camp
Senior Abby Camp poses in Georgetown University gear. Last fall, she announced her commitment to Georgetown after rowing for only two years.

In the summer before her junior year, senior Abby Camp picked up rowing for the first time at a local summer camp. In four months, she was promoted to her team’s varsity crew. Less than a year later, she began talking to college coaches about recruitment. And last fall, Abby announced her commitment to Division I rowing for Georgetown University. 

But just two years ago, all this would have seemed out of Abby’s world. As a field hockey and lacrosse player whose love for the sports was faltering, Abby looked for a new activity in hopes of finding a passion and community outside of school. 

“I wasn’t expecting to commit to an entirely new sport,” Abby said. “My brother’s friend was coaching a rowing camp and it was pretty much a bunch of high schoolers who had never rowed before. You had a week to learn everything including how to race; you’re doing what’s usually learned in four months in one week.”

From erging sessions — rowing on a rowing machine — to analyzing her form on film, Abby was forced to quickly learn many new skills in the camp. In the face of the difficulties of speed-learning a new sport, Abby also developed a great interest in and found an aptitude for rowing. 

Story continues below advertisement

“I remember getting in the boat for the first time, and I was talking to the person in front of me,” Abby said. “It’s fun because you’re so close to the people around you and you know that everyone’s suffering with you. It makes it a little more bearable.”

Entering her junior year, Abby joined Norcal Crew, a rowing team in Redwood City, where she began dedicating herself more seriously to the sport. In just her first season, she was promoted to the top competitive team for her age group, where she was able to compete at the Head of the Charles River (HOCR) Regatta, a well-known international rowing competition.

“HOCR is an extremely selective competition and for most people, it’s a dream to get on the team in their first year,” teammate junior Anousha Nejad said. “Abby’s strong, tall and fit, and it was so impressive but also not much of a surprise when she got in.”

Abby (fourth seat from the front) rows with her team at Norcal Crew.

With her unexpected yet impressive improvement that season, Abby realized that college recruitment was a possibility early in her first season. Since rowers are recruited by their 2-kilometer erg time, Abby locked into working towards recruitment standards in the following summer of 2023.

“I spent that entire spring and summer glued to my erg,” Abby said. “I rowed for two hours a day and did weight training for an hour a day. That whole summer, I was just focusing on getting splits down while also talking to coaches.”

After a summer of hard work, this past fall, Abby secured her spot in the Georgetown University rowing team.

Located in Washington, D.C., Georgetown has a top-ranked political science program, which Abby plans to pursue, and a strong women’s rowing team. Georgetown had been her dream school since eighth grade; after visiting the team on campus, Abby knew it was where she wanted to be. 

“I always really wanted to go far away,” Abby said. “Being a college athlete is a very stressful and high commitment. So I wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t too hardcore. When I went out to visit, I got to stay in the dorm with some girls who were just the nicest people ever. It just seemed like a great environment.”

While Abby continues rowing hard in preparation for college, her schedule is often filled to the brim. Even so, Abby continues to make time for life, especially her friends. 

“Abby’s just so genuine; she’s honest and open to all of her friends,” senior Aanya Matthias said. “She’s always committed to anything she does, whether it’s rowing or friendships.”

As she looks forward to college life, Abby also looks back on all the support she’s received throughout her rowing career.

“My parents have helped me balance everything and they’ve been very encouraging,” Abby said. “My coaches have pushed me a lot; they believe in my teammates and me more than we believe in ourselves, and it’s gotten me to places I wouldn’t be otherwise.”

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Dorie Xie
Dorie Xie, Sports Editor

Comments (1)

All The Talon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • James P Plummer | Mar 8, 2024 at 1:57 pm

    Great job Abby! So much to be proud of. Can’t wait to see your future accomplishments.