Ava Familant rows to success

The WJ girls rowing team at the Occoquan River in May 2021

Courtesy of: Ava Familant

The WJ girl’s rowing team at the Occoquan River in May 2021

Senior Ava Familant gives us an insight of the sport during her last season as a rower on the WJ Rowing team. Familant has been part of the Crew team since freshman year, and has now made it to the girls varsity team. Her interest to join the sport sparked when her group of close friends joined the team and when she tried it out herself, she loved it.

“I can generally row both sides when sweep rowing. It takes not only a lot of strength and endurance because it is a full body sport, but it takes a lot of skill and technique to become a successful rower. Rowing takes a lot of commitment physically and mentally but it is a very fun sport to do and you make lifelong friendships and family,” Familant said.

There is a lot of personal and team growth that comes with dedication, and it is reflected in the student’s performances during the races. Chris Graves, the women’s team Head Coach, says that Familant’s commitment to her team is heartwarming to see. “She has been my student since freshman year, and has since been part of every crew season. She shows great teamwork skills aside from having a strong friendship with all the girls,” Graves said.

Crew includes both indoor and outdoor practice and of course the regattas. Familant has made a lot of great memories in both scenes. “My favorite part is getting to be on the water on really nice days, getting to be with friends, having races and regattas. Boston has been my favorite place to compete at. The Charles River was such an incredible experience having shared the river with Olympic rowers,” Familant said.

Girls varsity captain, Tata Toure, has also been on the team for four years and has been an OG member of the team along with Familant. “I met Ava on the crew team, and I’ve known her for five years now. She’s one of the most spirited and positive teammates. She’s the best girl for keeping our morale and energy up!” Toure said.

Now that the spring season is here, Familant has one more chance to compete, travel and make memories with these girls. “I really hope to get a gold medal so I can complete my collection and enjoy every second of my last races,” Familant said.