No matter how hard or crazy a workout may sound, Archbishop Carroll assistant rowing coach Laura Hill said her team is willing do it.
"And that's the attitude that has them exactly where they are now," she said.
And where they are is in elite company as Carroll put forth the signature performance of its young program on Friday with a second-place finish in the time trials of the girls' varsity eight at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta on the Schuylkill.
They finished in 4 minutes, 59.49 seconds, behind first-place James Madison, one of the nation's premier teams. The finish puts Carroll in Saturday's final and marks a quick surge for a program in just its second year.
"Second place was not a mistake," said Hill, who coaches alongside head coach Bill Gennaro. "That time is not a mistake. They did the work."
Hill said there is no such thing as perfect rowing, so she expects her varsity eight - Maura Daly, Katherine Finley, Casey Alameno, Emily Ames, Ciara O'Sullivan, Jenna O'Toole, Meg Ginsberg, Sam Sederstrand and coxswain Victoria Verrekia - to find ways to improve in the final.
Along with her team's strong commitment, Hill said the program has been aided by the support of the local rowing community. Gennaro rowed at St. Joseph's Prep, and Hill rowed at Merion Mercy. Both Gennaro and Hill have younger brothers on the Prep team.
"We have to give credit to all the programs in the area," she said. "They've all been so supportive, and that's the way the rowing community is because you want the sport to keep growing. The only way everyone else is going to get faster is if you get more competition."
Shaving a legacy. With each member sporting a matching shaved head, the St. Joe's Prep freshman eight pulled their boat to the side and hopped onto the dock of the school's boat house. It was the end of a strong day for the Prep, which positioned itself to vie for the boys' lightweight and varsity eight finals on Saturday.
The Prep's varsity eight finished second in the time trial, and the lightweight eight, which has been unbeaten all season, finished first in its time trial. The Hawks are the reigning city champions in both events.
The key to that success, coach Jim Glavin said, is the team's insistence to continue to build a legacy. It's a legacy that includes the freshmen's shaved heads, which is the work of the varsity members before each Stotesbury.
"It's a school that's competitive in every aspect of the word," said Glavin. "Athletically, academically. They're bright kids."