Hillsborough High School Crew team, the only scholastic rowing team at an IB high school in Hillsborough county, was established in 1999. While Tampa currently boasts a large rowing community, at that time, it was not considered a rowing town. In fact, although Florida might be a powerhouse now, it was not a rowing state by any means in the early 2000s. At that time, a few alumni from northern schools living here made a concerted effort to bring rowing to the greater Tampa Bay area. At the same time Hillsborough was starting, Plant, Tampa Catholic, and Berkeley were starting their own programs based on this seed being planted around the state. The early years were a little lean at times. Initially, you really only could race eights as a generally accepted rule, which made it difficult for smaller teams to compete with larger teams at regattas.
Over the years, there were some notable successes at Hillsborough as diversity increased, boat sizes decreased, and general competition increased. Now, Hillsborough can count several Naval Academy graduates among its alumni, Anna Paz being one of the most recent and notable. At the Naval Academy, she participated in the women’s rowing program for four years and served as brigade commander. At Hillsborough, she created and won the Junior Women’s Double trophy during her sophomore year in 2012 with partner, Kellen Yent, and went on to defend it with her the following year at States. Annberlee Hothem and Andi Majchrzak, double partners on our current women’s team, brought the trophy back to the Hillsborough in 2018. We’re hoping to see some strong sophomores and juniors rise up to defend it this year.
The men’s team has won several victories in recent years as well. Nick Jeske and Savion Fordham have medaled in nearly every race where they’ve competed as a double partner’s set. They’ve qualified for Nationals together, and they’ve qualified in the Junior Four as well. In fact, we consider the Junior Four to be our legacy shell, because of its success over the last four years, trading people in and out, medaling at States, and medaling at many regattas, overall proving even a small squad like Hillsborough can compete with the bigger teams in select categories.
In the beginning, Hillsborough’s bread and butter was singles and doubles, but we’re slowly expanding on that as our talent pool increases and our numbers grow. We are building our shell sizes upward, and currently are considered a fairly strong force within the Junior Four categories. In addition to the success on the men's team, our women’s lightweight squad won the Girl's Lightweight Quadruple Skulls at States and qualified for Nationals in 2017.
Hillsborough High School is known for its hard work methodology in academics and in rowing. 2019 was proof of this as for the first time in HHSRC history a freshmen boat medaled and was invited to compete in a National Championship Regatta in Nashport, OH. Comprised of the Girls Freshmen 8+: Anna Mullins (Coxswain), Gabriella Sprague, Skye McCarthy, Asher Montgomery, Sophia Cavallari, Annika Luecht, Kristen Cordell, and Gianna Settimi.
The future is bright and we look forward to competing strongly in future competitions in all categories.
GO BIG RED!