A foundation of strength
Tara LaValley, an environmental studies major, will bring her four-year collegiate rowing career to an end when she graduates in May.
Throughout her years as a Cyclone rower, LaValley has proved to be versatile, rowing in the seven seat, stroke seat and bow.
“I’ll never forget the rush of entering into the last 250 meters of a 2k,” LaValley said. “The fact that, as a boat, we were always able to dig a little deeper and to find that last bit of energy to strongly finish a race is an incredible feeling.”
Planning to steer away form rowing after graduation, LaValley said she would like to try other sports. Still, she said she will miss the “second family” she has found in the team.
LaValley said she plans to volunteer with the Sea Shepherds Conservation Society, a marine conservation organization based in Washington state.
A rest well needed
Upon her graduation in May, environmental studies major Emma Giboney will be leaving the Mills College crew team for which, in the last two years, she has mostly rowed in the two seat position.
She has been on the team for four years, except for the semester she traveled abroad in Kenya.
In order to give herself time to reflect on leaving the team and to catch up on sleep, Giboney said she does not plan to join another crew team straight out of graduation, but she does dream about owning her own single boat. Giboney has never competed in any sport aside from crew.
Never forgetting the “painful satisfaction after a really good 2k,” Giboney said she will miss being part of a team, a community.
Giboney is planning on moving to Utah after graduation to survey plants in a National Park on a six-month internship. Afterward, she said she is considering either attending graduate school or gaining full-time employment.
A call of competition
Math major Chelsea DeSouza will be concluding her four-year rowing career upon her graduation in May.
Before she joined the team as a first-year, DeSouza planned on continuing her soccer career at Mills College. But she soon changed her mind and decided to try something new.
DeSouza said crew appealed to her because of the fierceness and competitiveness of the sport.
“Crew is not an individual sport,” she said. “It is for members who are willing to work hard for the benefit of the whole team.”
Repeatedly filling the stroke position during her years on crew, DeSouza sets the tempo for races.
“I love being on the water and just the act of rowing. I get to see the moon and then the sun rise every morning. It is the harmonious part of racing,” she said.
DeSouza will be attending graduate school in Ohio after she graduates.