Now that most of Hingham High School’s fall season sports have come to a close, things are starting to wind down. While many teams are able to continue training throughout the winter, crew is unable to use the harbor after the docks have been removed. The winter turns into the crew team’s most intense time for erging. An erg machine is used to imitate the feeling of rowing on water, and many rowers feel that it’s even more challenging than rowing itself because there is less to focus on, meaning less distractions. Almost every high schooler would say that crew requires an exponential amount of dedication and intensity when compared to many other sports. Hingham High School’s rowing program has one annual fundraiser, the Ergathon.
This year, the Ergathon took place at Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham, on November 7, right outside of Lululemon. Each rower rowed 20,000 meters to raise money for new equipment, and each coxswain rowed 10,000 meters. The rowers asked for donations of any kind, and the community responded with a positive outreach and many donations. Most donations were given prior to the ergathon, but some locals passing the event at Derby Street decided to donate randomly at the sight of hardworking high schoolers. The HHSRA (Hingham High School Rowing Association) set up a basket, and thanks to many generous people, the rowers raised over $30,000. The money will be used toward a new boat, costing $40,000 at least, not to mention the excess costs of riggers, seats, shoes, and new oars for the boats. All of the money raised by the rowers was well deserved, leaving them exhausted by the end.
I asked sophomore Hannah Kerber about her experience and she responded, “It’s not anything where your scores are looked at, so it wasn’t important how well we did, but it takes a long time and the faster you go the faster it’s over.” Looking at the small screen attached to the ergs for the entire 1.52.5 hours becomes very monotonous, but the support of teammates and parents was very helpful for each rower. For many, the overflowing support is what makes the team so special. Sophomore Grace Galko agrees with Hannah’s comment, adding, “It’s empowering to know that you’re rowing for such a great team. It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it because people recognize how hard we work.” Often times, recognition is what matters because it proves that people care, and what the girls and boys are doing matters. Their hard work pays off as they evolve as athletes over time. Later, I asked junior Gillian Mehigan how everyone felt during their 20,000 meters, and she responded, “It always takes a while and we try to have the most fun we can, but 20,000 meters obviously takes a long time.”With the support of one another, the rowers were able to complete the event with solid times, leaving just enough time for a quick stop at Chipotle afterward.