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Beyond the Paw: Sports Outside Pinewood

ALEXIS TANASE
STAFF WRITER

At Pinewood, a lot of attention is given to our sports teams, but not a lot of recognition is given to the athletes who participate in sports outside of school. Sophomore Gabby Bromberg, senior Caroline Knapp, and sophomore Kyra Scott all participate in rigorous sports outside of Pinewood. Bromberg, a rower, Knapp, an equestrian, and Scott, a dancer, talked to reporter Alexis Tanase about their experiences.

ALEXIS TANASE: How long have you been doing your outside of
school sport?
GABBY BROMBERG: I started rowing competitively this August.
CAROLINE KNAPP: I’ve been riding for about 10 years now.
KYRA SCOTT: I have been dancing since I was nine or 10 and started competing when I was 14. Compared to most people, I haven’t danced a lot since the typical dancer starts when they are two and start competing when they’re seven.

AT: How did you get into the sport? What influenced you to start?
GB: My brother started rowing for the same team as me last year, so he’s the one who introduced the sport to me. Over the summer, I did a camp with [sophomore] Danielle [Ness] and we really liked it, so we decided to [join] the team this year.
CK: I went to my best friend’s horse birthday party and fell in love! Right then I realized I had to start riding!
KS: I actually got into dancing by a friend, who doesn’t dance anymore. I watched one of the shows my studio put on and I was absolutely amazed at all the numbers. I asked my parents to enroll me in at least one class, so I could be in one show. I spent the next few years trying out different styles, only doing one hour a week, until I realized I wanted to do them all.

AT: Has it been harder to balance your workload with your sport being separate from Pinewood?
GB: It’s been harder to balance my workload because driving to practice takes around 30 minutes so I don’t usually have any time to do homework before practice. All of my weekday practices are two and a half hours, so I get home pretty late most days.
CK: Yeah, it’s definitely been hard because it’s kind of far away, but it’s just like every other sport at Pinewood where the practices – or “lessons” in my case – run until later in the afternoon.
KS: It is difficult considering I don’t get study hall year round, even though I have dance year round. I don’t get home from school until around four and then I leave my house around five for dance and don’t get back until 10. I always do my homework, so that leads to my sleep being affected the most.
AT: What have been some of your biggest achievements?
GB: I’ve only competed in a couple races so far, so I don’t really have any significant achievements yet! I’ve gotten a lot stronger and I’m proud of how my erg (rowing machine) scores have improved. I’m hoping that our team will do well in our upcoming spring races, especially at regionals where we have to compete against a really tough region.
CK: One of the most rewarding times in my riding career happened this past summer when I won a class at a horse show in Southern California. It was against 30 professionals, so I felt pretty awesome afterwards!
KS: One of my biggest achievements is getting on the competition team and then going on to win 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place awards. Since we’re not in competition/audition season there haven’t been any recent achievements.

AT: What is the biggest challenge you face in your sport?
GB: Physically, rowing is incredibly difficult, and definitely much harder than any sport I’d ever done before. The technique requires a lot of concentration, and you also have to try to perfectly match the other 7 people in the boat while rowing as hard as you can.
CK: I think the hardest part about riding is keeping your mind focused on all of the little things you have to keep doing. If your leg is slightly in an off position, or if you put too much pressure on the reins … everything else can just suddenly go wrong, or your horse could stop out right before the jump. You just gotta try and stay on the horse!
KS: The biggest challenge for me is trying to “catch up” to people my age who have danced since they were two. I don’t have the extra seven years of technique, flexibility and musicality that they do.

AT: What is the best part about your sport? What motivates you to continue?
GB: My favorite part about the sport is definitely how close you get to your teammates. We spend a ton of time together and everyone really bonds. When I’m dying during a race and don’t think that I can keep going anymore, it definitely motivates me to know that everyone in my boat is struggling just as much, and that if I don’t try my hardest then I am letting all of them down.
CK: I just love that there has to be a bond between you and your horse so that you can successfully communicate to each other when riding.
KS: My favorite part of dance is when we do improvisation. In dance you can always improve, so the opportunity to become better than how I am motivates me to continue.

AT: Anything else you would like to tell the readers of The Perennial about your sport?
CK: If you get the chance to ride a horse, I promise they’re not as scary as they seem!

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