Contact image
New College of Florida

 new college of florida

Most memorable crew experience?
One of the most memorable experiences for me was how the whole team handled preparation before Hurricane Irma. The whole team got together to take down the weight and erg tent, derig all our boats to put in the trailer to go to a warehouse, and put anything and everything we could find that could potentially fly away into the club house and moved everything from the windows. The site looked deserted and the house looked like a storage shed. Most of us were fairly convinced that we would never see the boat racks and club house the same way again with all the flood and storm surge warnings. Our beloved Sarasota was spared when Irma went down to Category 1. We all came back more grateful than ever to see that our team and equipment was unharmed.  I find that since then as a whole, we have become more grateful for the beauty of where we live and train, for our equipment, and for having each other.

Most embarrassing crew experience?
I was sitting alone in the trailer soaking in the sunshine after having had three races painting a mermaid on a wooden clog. I was under the impression that I had finished all my races and was happily painting away when Coach Kirby came up to the side of the trailer, saw me painting the clog, and asked me why I wasn’t in my single. Startled, I looked up at her with paint all over my hands and arms unable to respond because I had a paintbrush in my mouth. Turns out, I completely didn’t see my 4th race on the lineup sheet. I guess I was just too excited to paint my mermaid-shoe that I missed my race. Whoops.

Favorite regatta?
OARS Invitational 2017, Regionals 2017 in Georgia, and Stetson Rendezvous Half Marathon Row 2015 when Coach Monica rowed the 21k with the 4v

What will you miss the most?
I will miss the water days, taking in the beauty of sunsets, rainbows, silhouettes of the palm trees, dolphins (sorry Morgan), and the cute little group of painters that come to Spanish Point to paint the scenery that we get to be a part of every day. The relishing grace of the hull cutting through perfect water with synchronized power in perfect weather is so invigorating that it feels almost poetic. I will never forget the close relationships that I have made with the coaches and unique individuals with whom I’ve spent years perfecting both our stroke and our friendships.

What Crew taught you?
Throughout the six years that I have been rowing, I learned not to be discouraged if I was not in a top boat. In fact, competing in a lower ranked boat offers an opportunity to surpass higher boats, exceeding everyone’s expectations. I firmly believe that novice athlete deserves the same amount of respect as any varsity athlete. I learned over the years that being told that I was a “Novice” or “C boat” or “5V” or “B entry” didn’t mean that I was limited to that level. It was up to me to achieve more than I ever believed that I was capable of. 

I learned to serve as a bridge for beginner rowers, such as my little sister Maeva, offering support and advice on how to improve and set goals. I will never forget my middle school and novice years. I know what it’s like to feel intimidated by older Varsity rowers. The last think I want is for someone to be afraid of me. Once I joined varsity, I was determined to melt any intimidation and false barriers between the different stages and levels of Crew. I want anyone to feel comfortable to talk to me and to be able to come running up to me yelling “Toni!” and give me a big hug.