Former Hun Basketball Player Mardy Makes a Splash with Princeton Crew
By Bill Alden
Two winters ago, Scott Mardy spent much of his time in the Hun School gym in order to hone his skills as the starting center of the Raiders' basketball team.
Last winter, the 6'7 Mardy played just a few games of hoops at Dillon Gym during his freshman year at Princeton University.
Mardy's cameo appearances on the basketball court didn't signal that he had lost his love for the game.
Instead, his failure to spend much time in the gym was simply a reflection of the time and effort Mardy was putting into his current sporting focus of becoming a key member of the Princeton's freshman heavyweight rowing program.
"I miss playing [basketball] a lot," acknowleged Mardy. "Rowing has become a huge part of my life. It's kind of taken over. We did some hard training over the fall and into spring. It was definitely pushing my limits, the amount of volume here."
Mardy's hard work down at the boathouse and on Lake Carnegie has paid dividends as he earned a spot at the No. 3 seat on the top freshman heavyweight boat, which finished sixth last weekend in the freshman grand final at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) championship regatta.
While Mardy is happy with the progress he's made this year, he knows he has a lot to learn. "My overall fitness in general is better," said Mardy, who rowed in Hun's crew program. "Technically, I've improved. I've made some big strides but I've still get a lot of improvements to make."
Greg Hughes, the coach of the Princeton freshman heavyweight program, is pleased with the strides Mardy has made in his debut season with the program.
"I think Scott's done a great job," said Hughes. "He's a good athlete and that helps. He also has the work ethic. He's a big, strong kid."
Mardy has also added something special to the program out of the water. "Scott is a very funny kid," added Hughes. "He is an enlightening character to have in the program. We have so many driven, type-A kids. Scott is able to put things in perspective."
Getting immersed in the crew program has helped lend a special perspective to Mardy's freshman year.
"It's a lot more work academically and athletically here," asserted Mardy. "Time management is big. Being in crew has been a positive thing in terms of being able to balance my time. It keeps my day static, I get a good chunk of a workout in and then I can focus on other things."
Right now, Mardy has his focus set on making a major impact on the Tiger varsity heavyweight program.
"I'd like to get to the varsity eight," said Mardy. "It's going to take a lot of work and a lot of training. I'm going to have to come down here every day and pull hard. It's a simple equation but it's really an enjoyable one at the same time."
So enjoyable that it makes Mardy's forced absence from the basketball court more than tolerable.