Unknown Stars: Chelsea Shannon

By Sade Tavangarian

It’s 8 a.m., Saturday morning, and Chelsea Shannon ’11 is waiting for the opening gunshot, oar in hand. Shannon is used to this anticipation, an almost weekly occurence as a part of her career on one of the top high school crew teams in California.

Crew, also known as rowing, is a highly competitive high school sport involving different sized boats that vary with number of rowers on the team.

Shannon’s club team includes eight girls, and her position is the “lightweight” or the coxswain, which helps steer the boat. She practices every day of the week from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in Marina Del Rey and goes to races almost every weekend. Spring is the main rowing season and recently Shannon has gone to San Francisco and San Diego for the past weekends.

Shannon’s team went to state May 7- 10 and placed second in the four-person row and third in the eight-person row, and they lost by .9 seconds.

Her goal for the year had been to go to state and maybe nationals.

She has been a crew member for nine months and said, “It was hard to learn at first, but you get used to the technique.”

Shannon had to drop her main sports, cross country and track and field, in place of crew and even though they’re completely different, she said crew is a great experience for her. Although crew is a team sport, different from the individualistic running, Shannon likes the pressure on each individual to make up the whole team.

“It’s good because I can still push myself,” she said. “It’s nice to have all the girls also supporting you in the boat too.”