Along with 40 other girls from across the United States, GPS senior Larkin Brown was selected to attend the US Rowing National U-19 Team Selection Camp beginning June 16 at the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. The girls stayed on the campus of Connecticut College through July 9 while being put through intense workouts and tryouts. Ultimately only 19 rowers were selected to represent the United States; Brown was among those chosen.
“Simply put, she got there with hard work,” says David Hall, GPS Varsity Rowing Coach, about Brown’s road to the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships that takes place August 7-12 in Racice, Czech Republic. “She set a goal and went after it. I’ve witnessed significant development from her.”
The summer before her sophomore year, Brown was invited to development camp, but last year she didn’t get the same request due to her level of improvement from the year prior. Determined to get invited this year, Brown put in the extra time and effort needed to hone her craft and shave those precious few seconds from her times.
“Selection camps are a very high-stress environment,” Hall says. “They can decide to cut you after just one seat race at practice. Larkin maintained her toughness under a lot of pressure.”
This week the Under 19 USA National Team raced in the Club Nationals in Camden, New York. Brown competed in the U23 category (Intermediate) as part of one the 4+ crews and won silver; her 8+ won gold. She also won silver in the Elite/Senior category in the 8+. Today final team announcements were made; Brown will compete as a member of the Women’s Eight.
According to her mother, Lisa, Brown and her teammates will stay at Princeton until the first of August to train before leaving for the Czech Republic. Lisa Brown credits Coach Hall with much of her daughter’s success. “He would come in early in the morning and work with her before school,” she says. “He got her to where she needed to be. The girls think the world of him, and we think he’s an invaluable member of the GPS coaching staff.”
Hall is quick to give Brown the accolades she deserves. “She’s tough. She knows how to win and what it takes to achieve her goals,” he says. “She was a small fish in a big pond [at Selection Camp].” The U.S. roster includes athletes from 19 states, plus Switzerland; California claims 14
athletes on the U19 roster, while Connecticut has 13.
“Larkin won the majority of the seat races she competed in and was tough throughout the three weeks of camp,” Hall continues. “I told her it was possible if she put in the work and she did.”