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Quaker Valley senior drawn to energy of Rutgers rowing team

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Sunday, February 11, 2024 | 11:01 AM


Quaker Valley’s Lindsay Gledhill, a senior rowing afficionado, took a scientific approach to choosing a college.

Rutgers became the crystal clear winner.

“I was drawn to Rutgers by the competition, culture of the team, academics and location,” Gledhill said. “Rutgers crew competes in not only the Big Ten but also the Ivy League, which is double the opportunity, double the competition and double the fun. The women’s rowing program had a team culture like nothing I had seen.

“After having talked to many (coaches at) Division I programs, Rutgers brought an energy and sense of motivation that I hadn’t seen in any other programs.”

Gledhill, who has a 3.85 GPA, plans to major in biology to eventually go into the medical field.

“Academically, Rutgers has one of the best science programs in the country, which is what I want to study,” Gledhill said. “The location is also great because it has a river that runs right through the campus.

“Also, so many of our competitors are close to us, so traveling for races is not crazy. I also have family that live in New Jersey and New York, which is nice.”

Gledhill’s coach, Matt Grau of Three Rivers Rowing Association, believes the QV senior made a smart choice in opting for the Scarlet Knights.

“I expect that Lindsay will do very well at Rutgers,” Grau said. “The Rutgers program is one of the top 20 programs in the country, and I know Lindsay will bring her dedication and work ethic with her, and she will continue to push those around her to improve.

“Lindsay’s career has been exceptional to watch. When she was a newer rower, she was very focused on picking up the right technical habits, and as her power developed, she began to stand out as an athlete. She’s had a big impact on our program during her time at Three Rivers.”

The Quaker Valley rowing program is conducted through Three Rivers Rowing.

“So Lindsay’s rowing participation through Quaker Valley High School takes place at Three Rivers,” Grau said. “Lindsay’s involvement with Three Rivers Rowing began in 2018, but I have been her direct coach since 2020.”

Gledhill, 18, has earned more than 20 medals in her rowing career and has competed twice at The Head of the Charles Regatta, which is the biggest regatta in the world. Last spring, she and her teammates won the “Best in the Midwest” title in their division, which qualified their boat for nationals in Sarasota, Fla. Gledhill’s team placed first in its heat.

“This granted me and my boat a national ranking, which is exciting,” Gledhill said. “Over the fall, the girls did great. We took home several medals. A select five girls — four rowers and a coxswain — competed in the women’s Youth 4+ Division at The Head of the Charles Regatta and secured our bid for next fall.

The 5-foot-7 Gledhill has been rowing for five years and describes herself as a “super competitive person and athlete.”

“I started rowing because I was inspired by an uncle who rowed for the Scottish national team,” she said. “I had also heard that it was the most mentally and physically tough sport in the world, so I had to see for myself.

“And I will say, after having had done (other) competitive sports, rowing has proven to be true to me that it is the hardest sport I’ve ever done. Every day I am pushed in ways that other sports did not even come close to physically and mentally.”

Gledhill previously has participated in soccer, lacrosse, swimming, cross country and track and field. She is chairman of the QV student council service committee, which she has participated in since sixth grade, and has a love for nature and art.

“I also love to volunteer for community service projects through my church,” she said.

Nonetheless, it’s the sport of rowing that currently takes up the majority of her free time.

“Rowing is truly a year-round sport,” Gledhill said, “with two ‘on’ seasons (spring, fall) and two training seasons (winter, summer). I stay fit in those seasons through my boat club as well as independently, and when I go D-1 in the fall, I will through Rutgers.”

Gledhill said she has not nailed down a specific position on her rowing team.

“My club strives to have each athlete become flexible in all boat classes and positions (in order) to have more competitive opportunities,” she said.

Grau has utilized Gledhill’s rowing skills, however, in a couple of specific spots.

“Lindsay has a highly developed boat feel and is very efficient on the water,” he said. “She’s sat in a number of positions in our boats but has typically been very successful as either the bow (in charge of steering) or as the stroke (setting the rhythm).”

Tags: Quaker Valley



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