Senior Madison Kirkman Rows in Nation’s Most Storied Regatta

By Emme Pike '19, Communications Intern
This year, a little bit of Norfolk Academy was brought to the Head of the Charles regatta- one of the most renowned regattas for crew in the United States, held on the Charles River in Boston. Madison Kirkman ’19 and Sophia Nevarez ’17, who once rowed for the Bulldogs, met on October 20-21 to row for their respective teams.

Madison competed in the doubles category with her partner Claire Donlan, from Denver, Colorado. The girls, who only rowed together in the double twice before the race, were able to brave the three mile course through the rain, wind gusts, and wind chill of 30 degrees and put together a great race. Madison recounted that, despite feeling stressed during the race, her favorite part of the regatta was cheering on the international teams and just the atmosphere in general. She said, “There were so many people watching and it was a really cool experience that I had never had before.”

Even though the Head of the Charles Regatta is one that is typically reserved for collegiate athletes, there are a few distinctions that allow high school athletes to compete. After completing two rounds of intense summer training in New England, Ready Set Row was the outlet Madison used to get her slot in the regatta. Madison and Claire were picked from a pool of hopefuls to participate in the event and eagerly jumped at the opportunity.

Madison has committed to continue her rowing career at the University of Tennessee. She expresses how she is excited to “be part of a team that I feel has really big plans and to have the opportunity to be a part of those plans.” There, she hopes to study business and sports administration or marketing.

Back in New York, Sophia is the coxswain of the women’s club four that raced at the regatta. Currently a civil engineer major, Sophia is looking to study architecture at NYU. She mentioned that her favorite part of the school thus far is the community.

We are so proud of these Bulldogs and look forward to hearing about their future accomplishments in the crew world!