Michael Bernard is a senior at CHS. This is Bernard’s fourth year on the Globe staff. He is currently serving as the Editor-in-Chief, and in the past has served as Senior Managing...
Life is But a Dream: Lily Brown
August 29, 2016
“As soon as I was finished racing I hopped off the water and drove five hours to get to prom,” CHS senior Lily Brown said.
Brown arrived two hours late to prom after driving all the way from Cincinnati, Ohio for a regatta.
“Commitment is a huge part of the sport so to decide to be late to prom showed my coach how committed I really was,” Brown said. “It was extremely hard to be late to prom but it was worth it because I medaled in both boats I was in.”
Brown knew that she made the right decision to make rowing her first priority.
Brown, an accomplished rower for St. Louis Rowing club, has been competing since her freshman year in high school.
“My brother had rowed before, so my parents kind of forced me into it because he did it. I ended up really liking it,” Brown said. However, rowing is not the only extra-curricular that Brown has been involved in.
“I played lacrosse freshman and sophomore year,” Brown said. “I took spring off [rowing] when I did that.”
The two sports spurred conflict causing Brown to drop lacrosse and row full time for St. Louis Rowing Club.
With the rowing club comes responsibilities for Brown. She is required to go to practice six days a week for two hours each day. Brown is also required to attend certain regattas during the racing season. This can interfere with her school work.
“My mom, at the beginning of the year, warns [my teachers] that I row so I’m going to miss school,” Brown said. “We spend a lot of time on the bus so we have time to do our homework then.”
The practices differ depending on the season. In rowing, the racing season is during fall and spring. In these seasons, practice is held outside at Creve Coeur Lake.
“In the winter, since the water freezes, we erg.” Ergs are indoor rowing machines that simulate the experience of rowing on the water.
“[The winter] is a really important time to get faster and better,” Brown said. “During the winter the team strives to set new personal records, and to beat old times.”
To Tim Franck, varsity girls coach at St. Louis Rowing Club, Brown stands out on her team.
“Lily is highly competitive and loves racing and winning, but she always shows great sportsmanship,” Franck said. “Lily certainly knows how to win, but she handles herself very well when that doesn’t happen.”
Brown’s rowing abilities, leadership and sportsmanship have not gone unnoticed by her teammates.
“Lily’s teammates have a great respect for her as both a rower and a person,” Franck said. “They voted her to be one of their captains this year.”
Brown’s rowing career is full of accolades and achievements. After placing in the top three at the Midwest competition this spring, Lily’s team got the opportunity to go to Nationals. In the weeks prior to the competion, Brown and her teammates practiced intensely.
“For three weeks we had to practice for four hours a day and then we went to Nationals,” Brown said.
The competition took place in Princeton, New Jersey on June 8 and Brown and her team finished fifth place in the nation out of hundreds of teams across the country.
“It was so amazing,” Brown said. “You have to work so hard to get there.”
Brown was also recently presented with the Ronald H. Suermann Award. This award is given to a rower who exhibits dedication, spirit, selflessness and the aspiration to succeed.
Franck believes that Brown embodies what this award represents.
“Lily is one of the most consistently even-keeled rowers that we’ve had,” Franck said. “No matter what the circumstances, Lily always maintains a focused demeanor, which, from a young athlete, shows real maturity.”
For Brown, earning this award has been one of the pinnacle moments of her rowing career.
“It feels really rewarding especially after how hard I’ve worked this whole year,” Brown said. “I was extremely surprised and happy that my coach awarded me with this because a lot of the names up there were girls I looked up to when I was younger so to have my plaque next to theirs is a really big honor.”
There are moments where Brown doesn’t want to go rowing as she is too frustrated or tired.
“During the winter it gets pretty hard, especially because all you do is erg,” Brown said. “It gets pretty old and tiring.” However, Brown is able to keep her spirits high by looking forward to what’s to come in the racing season. Brown plans to pursue her rowing career through college as her high school career is coming to an end.
“[Rowing] is such a big part of my life now so I wouldn’t want to stop,” Brown said.