Pieter Quinton was looking forward to the final season of his collegiate rowing career, with years of hard work leading to a place in the top eight on one of the country’s top priorities.
No one could have predicted that this would happen a year later at a new university, Washington, instead of Harvard.
But COVID-19 changed so many plans, և Quinton, who grew up in Portland, participated in the Huskies high-end ship, which competed in the opening season of the week. Annual Class Day Cut on Montlake Cut:
“I’m very lucky, thank you,” said Quinton, who graduated from Harvard last spring with a bachelor’s degree in management and economics. “When I think about all the collegiate rowing programs in the country, this is probably one of the most active in terms of what we can do during training. And here the guys on the team were awful. They all greeted me so much ում I was integrated into the squad. ”
Quinton’s father played football in Dartmouth and his mother was a rower for Yale. Peter grew up playing football, but things started to change in the summer before the eighth grade, և his mother thought he was not busy enough և he enrolled him in the Rose City Rowing Club.
A few years later, he finally gave up football.
“I realized I could not balance the two anymore, I decided to stay away from football,” said Peter, whose brother Philip plays football in Notre Dame. “My heart really was not in other football. And I was focusing on rowing all the time. ”
He looked at several Ivy League schools, including Yale, but “Harvard clicked on me more.”
As a freshman, Quinton paddled eight similar boats in most of the races, but in her sophomore year she fell to fourth place.
“There were definitely some ups and downs,” he said. “I think I had a very successful first year, then I stumbled in the second year. Frankly, for me, I think that was a good thing (getting on the fourth ship). I lacked the confidence I had in high school to lead the team. A kind of landing inside allowed me to rebuild.
At the end of the second year he returned to the third ship. He was on the team’s second ship at a young age, he was doing so well that he was called the second team All-Ivy League. For his first senior race as Charles the Great in October 2019, he was in the second seat of Harvard’s first ship.
A few months after COVID-19 hit, the spring season was canceled. It meant the end of rowing at Harvard for Quinton, as there is an Ivy League rule that does not allow graduate students to compete in interuniversity athletics.
“I do not think I can really overcome that,” said Quinton, who canceled his senior season at Harvard. “It has always been my dream to compete in the spring race, really, with a ‘high-class boat,’ not being able to do it after a long time to get there, it will always be heartbreaking, ‘it will stay with me forever.’
Quinton said she knew she wanted to continue rowing, but said the first few weeks after the season was canceled were a “period of mourning.” After “taking me with him”, he contacted Sergio Espinoza, assistant coach of the Washington Rowing Team, who was the practice coach of the junior national team for which he competed in 2016.
Quinton was captivated by the success of the UW program, the fact that it is close to her hometown, as well as her postgraduate studies in UW government policy.
It was an easy sale to UW coach Michael Callahan, who recruited Quinton when he was in high school and followed him to Harvard.
“When a boy decides to go to Harvard, it happens,” Kalalan said. “It’s a great institution, a great rowing program. We want to recruit the best guys in the region, he suffered a small loss (when Quinton went to Harvard). When he reappeared, it was: “Yes, yes, absolutely, let’s talk to him.” “The dean of public policy began to recruit him.”
“He kind of fell into our arms.”
Callahan said that Quinton competed in the number 7 seat of the universal ship “bow seat”, which is one of the four main members of eight similar ships. He said the fact that Quinton had to work for years to board a ship helped him fit in well with the Huskies.
“I think he’s stronger than he has ever been. I think he fits in really well,” said Callahan, who said Quinton had exceeded expectations from the beginning.
Quinton lives with several UW teammates. Callahan praised Clinton for integrating so well with the team, but praised the other team members, including those who competed with Quinton for a seat on the top ship, for being so welcoming.
“He settled in seamlessly, as if he had been in the band for four years,” Kalalan said.
Quinton appreciates the chance to paddle it again, but has not forgotten her collegial roots.
“I think I am definitely more grateful to be out on the water,” he said. “I do not want to take it lightly because we lost last year. I do not know how I feel about competing, but I’m sure I will be very happy, but it was very important for me to paddle for Harvard. After paddling for the same program for three to four years, you build a kind of connection with your teammates. But I am very grateful that I have the opportunity to return and compete collectively.