Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 30
 
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
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SCULL SESSION: Gevvie Stone basks in the glory in 2006 after the Princeton University women's open crew won the NCAA championship race to complete a perfect season. Stone, who graduated Princeton this past June, will be trying her hand at the quadruple sculls for the U.S. Under-23 national team. The U.S. will be competing in the Under-23 World Rowing Championships in Strathclyde, Scotland this week.

PU Alum Stone Ready for Scull Session as She Rows for U.S. in Under-23 Worlds

Bill Alden

Gevvie Stone knew she had to step up this past spring in her senior season with the Princeton University women's open crew team.

As one of the few returners on the varsity eight boat in the wake of a 2006 season that saw Princeton go undefeated on the way to the NCAA championship, Stone was determined to help the program's younger rowers.

"As seniors we had to reach out more," said Stone. "We not only helped the younger guys with rowing, we helped them choose classes. We told them when to sleep. I got some of them to come down with me in the mornings to do ERG workouts to get some extra conditioning."

Stone's leadership paid dividends as the young boat placed third in the Eastern Sprints and sixth in the NCAA championship race.

"It was really different, coming off last year we knew it would be a challenge," said Stone. "It was fun to be the underdogs. It was great to make the grand final at the NCAAs, nobody expected us to do that."

This week, Stone is stepping up again as she competes in the quadruple scull for the U.S. national team at the Under-23 world championships in Strathclyde, Scotland.

Competing in the sculls represents quite a change for Stone, who helped the U.S. eight to the U-23 world title last summer. In sculling, a rower uses two oars while in the eights, a "sweep" rowing event, Stone handled just one oar.

True to form, Stone didn't shy away from the challenge of competing in the new discipline."I talked to the national coach [Tom Terhaar], Lori Dauphiny [the Princeton women's open coach] and my parents about it," recalled Stone, a native of Newton, Mass. whose parents were both rowers for the U.S. national team. "Our sculling hasn't been great in the U.S.; we could be a lot stronger."

Stone is not a total newcomer to sculling. "I have done it on and off since high school and I really enjoyed it," said Stone.

"The boats are smaller and you have no cox. You do steering with your toe. You use the same muscles but the technique is a little different."

In facing her newest challenge, Stone will draw on some of the lessons she learned during her Princeton career.

"I definitely have more confidence in myself as a rower and a person," asserted Stone. "I have confidence in my ability to overcome obstacles. In college, you spend so much more time with your team than in high school. You learn how to deal with people and help people get through situations where they aren't happy."

Stone has enjoyed competing for the U.S. team the last two summers. "It's just a matter of getting used to another level of training," said Stone, reflecting on joining the program in 2006. "It was great, I found I could handle it and still enjoy rowing. It's also great meeting different rowers."

The U.S. rowers have certainly undergone a rigorous regimen this summer as they have readied themselves for the worlds.

"We were in Virginia for two and a half weeks in June training at the University of Virginia boathouse," said Stone.

"We went to the elite U.S nationals at the end of June. We are training three times a day three days a week and two times a day the other two days."

Stone feels that hard work has paid off for her boat as it looks to make an impact on the sculling scene.

"We are getting faster day by day, it's great to see," said Stone, whose boat did most of its training at the Princeton University boathouse on Lake Carnegie in the weeks before leaving for Scotland.

"We are in a tough field with 10 countries. We have the potential to medal. It's good to help the U.S. get strong at an event."

And it's good for the U.S. to have someone on board like Stone who is more than willing to step up to a challenge.

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