The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

Owen McKendry sets the tone on the crew team

Following graduation, senior Owen McKendry plans to take his rowing skills to Tufts University.

Engulfed in a golden stream of sunlight, senior Owen McKendry looks out onto the water. His eyes are hidden behind sunglasses, but his face holds the expression of calm determination as he leads his boat onwards.

McKendry joined the crew team as a freshman and after graduation he will go onto row at Tufts University. His calm and observant work ethic has led to much success during his career as a varsity rower. Throughout his time on the team, McKendry has served as a quiet and humble leader.

According to boys varsity rowing coach Catie Szymanoski, joining the crew team allowed McKendry to develop and grow into a reflective leader who pays attention to the little things.

“He is more of the silent leader type where he observes everyone around him and everything around him, and then reacts and responds in that way,” Szymanoski said. “But, he also is very humble and does everything exactly the way he should.”

Senior Andrew Kim, a teammate and close friend of McKendry, said McKendry approaches races differently than most team members.

“He obviously wants to win the race, and he’s excited to race, but he’s not as nervous or jittery as most people are,” Kim said. “He just takes a calm and collected approach to it.”

According to Szymanoski, McKendry serves as the leader of the team not only during practice but also on the water during races.

“He sits in the stroke seat, which is the first seat, which is the person that sets the rhythm and sets the tone for the entire boat,” Szymanoski said. “He definitely leads by example.”

McKendry said that, initially, he did not fully adjust to the stroke seat role as a sophomore.

“I was unsure and felt undeserving in a way. But I feel like I really grew into that position and leading that team,” McKendry said. “And although I’m at the front of the boat, the race is not done by just one person.”

According to Kim, McKendry constantly raises the bar for himself, no matter his successes.

“He’s not the loudest guy in the room, but he leads by example. So, a lot of the younger guys just look at what he’s doing and try to follow that,” Kim said. “He’s also very, very humble. He just continues to treat everyone as equals.”

Though McKendry said he is sad to leave behind the Brookline team, he looks forward to his future at Tufts.

“I’m super excited to be rowing at Tufts. The recruiting process was a huge part of me going to college because I knew that just continuing the sport was something I really wanted to do,” McKendry said. “And even though I’m going to be sad about leaving the team at BHS, I’m looking forward to these next four years.”

According to Szymanoski, McKendry has contributed greatly to the team by exemplifying the program and doing everything he can do to get better.

“He’s just a really positive, great athlete and leader on the team,” Szymanoski said. “He’s really made the team what they are today.”

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