Genevieve Shadron, a 2022 Glastonbury High School graduate, will continue rowing collegiately in familiar waters.
“I’m beyond excited to announce my commitment to row Division I at the University of Connecticut,” Shadron announced on Instagram earlier this year. “Thank you to my family, friends, coaches, and teammates for always supporting me.”
Because there is no youth program for rowing, Shadron has grown by leaps and bounds since joining the GHS crew team as a freshman.
She bookended her high school career with championships, powering an eight+ notice boat that won a state title when she was a freshman and duplicating that feat on the varsity boat this past spring.
She called it a “wow” moment, adding, “This year was the first states that happened post-Covid, so to come back and win the state championship again made it come full circle.”
After the program faced uncertainty at the coaching position during Shadron’s first year, Eleanor Dowd came in to stabilize the coaching – serving as both a coach and mentor for Shadron.
Dowd, who rowed at UConn from 2016-2019, said that Shadron’s greatest strength is her resiliency.
“She faced multiple injuries, which can be especially demoralizing in rowing because instead of just being on the bench you're stuck on land while the rest of your boat is miles away upstream,” said Dowd. “Genevieve was able to use her time wisely and worked hard on both her mental and physical toughness.”
Prior to high school, college rowing wasn’t on radar for Shadron, who grew up playing basketball and soccer. She deciding to give the open water sport a whirl as a freshman and the rest is history.
“The sport itself is not typical. It’s not like a lot of other sports like soccer or basketball where you can start in elementary school,” said Shadron, who added that her favorite part the rowing program is how accepting the athletes are.
“In rowing you walk in day one as a freshman and you’re on the novice team and there are no cuts. When I started, I was thinking ‘what’s the worst that can happen’,” recalled Shadron, who was also an aulos player in the school’s chamber orchestra. “I’m an athlete at heart and thought it would be interesting and fell in love with it. Now it’s my sport.”
Her younger sister, Emily, also rows at GHS and just finished her junior year.
Shadron said the sisters two bridged the gap between the seniors and juniors, adding, “It inadvertently made our team more united and cohesive.”
She added that because of the Covid cancellation, many rowers didn’t return the following season. What started as a large group of over 30 was whittled down to a core group of nine seniors this spring.
Although small in numbers, the returning rowers came back with a renewed dedication and Shadron said the remaining seniors “got close really fast”, adding “We had our own little unit. It was like a rock support system that you could count on.”
Over the past four years, Shadron has transformed into a powerful, relentless rower thanks for her dedication to her craft.
She credits GHS strength and condition program, led by Zack Bohling, with helping her and the team get bigger, stronger, faster.
Because rowing is the ultimate entire-body workout, Shadron likes that she can vary up her workouts, combing both strength and cardio.
Dowd has seen that firsthand and called Shadron a “leader in the weight room.”
“She is always looking to help out and improve the environment around her. Her questioning attitude allows her to lock into the primary purpose of things whether on or off the water,” added Dowd. “Her resilience, purposeful actions, and her overall love for the sport will push her to succeed at the collegiate level.
During the recruiting process, which started when she was a junior, Shadron looked around to multiple schools, including Drexel University, Temple University, and the University of Rhode Island, before ultimately deciding that Connecticut’s largest school was the perfect fit.
“It’s pretty sweet,” said Shadron. “I get to stay fairly close to home and do what I love. It’s pretty insane, it’s a dream come true.”
At Storrs, she will study engineering while she joins her hydro-Huskies on the waterways.
“The college schedule will work well for me. The idea of having practice and working out before I have class every day is really appealing,” added Shadron.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin