The time is 5:00 a.m. The morning air is crisp with freshness at
Briones Reservoir. But suddenly, the tranquility of still waters is
broken with the eager energy of young women with oars in boats
everywhere. Mills crew season has started and the team is back in
The Mills crew team has recently welcomed the start of a new
year with early morning training and the anticipation of meets to
come. The fall season, which began in early September and runs
through the end of October, is already in its third week; the
crewmembers are up and running in the early hours of the
Varsity crewmember and sophomore Maya Nenezis said that this
will be her second year participating in crew and that she is
looking forward to a good year.
“There are more members in both the varsity and novice teams,
which is a good thing and my only hope is that we continue to
improve throughout the year,” said Nenezis.
Novice crewmember and sophomore Ayla Steadman said that she
joined crew because she wanted to get into shape and joining crew
seemed to be the perfect opportunity for her to do so.
“I just wanted to be part of a team sport. I felt like the
discipline that comes along with working in a team would also be
very good for me. Plus, I wake up really early in the morning
sometimes, so training for crew seemed like a good way to make use
of the time,” said Steadman.
Freshwoman Sarah Milazzo, a new addition to the varsity crew
team, was unsure of what Mills Crew had to offer her; she
participated in her high school crew team for three years. “The
coaches contacted me over the summer and I met with them when I
first got here. They were both so enthusiastic, more so than any
group of coaches I have ever rowed with and their energy is
extremely contagious. I went to the first practice and was hooked,”
Crew is known as one of the oldest sports on the Mills campus.
Dating back to 1914, the Mills crew team has seen many successes,
including recently in the 1990s.
Since 1994, the varsity crew team has won several national
championships, and in 1998, the varsity team qualified for the
Inaugural NCAA Women’s Rowing Championship.
“Last year was our first year to be placed in races,” said
Nenezis, “and I really believe that we will continue to do
Although the varsity team seems to be participating in more
races, the novice team is not too far behind.
“Everyone is really motivated and we’re doing our best to work
as a team to improve on our technique. Even though we’ll race only
once this semester, it’ll be really fun and challenging,” said
The first race for the varsity team will be in late October.