Pacifica Junior Luke Holscher is rising in the rowing ranks with recent success at nationals and local Southern California regattas.
Pacifica junior Luke Holscher has a full schedule that includes AP classes on campus with teachers like Mr. Soria followed by afternoons rowing in Marina Del Rey at the California Yacht Club. This balancing act between academics, rowing, and working in data analytics for music festivals keeps him on the go.
Luke’s first crack at a major rowing event came last spring when he and his partner Harrison Zeigler, both sophomores at the time, finished seventh at Nationals, the highest level of United States rowing. At Nationals, the sophomores battled the seniors from some of the country’s top rowing programs. Locally, Luke placed first in the open weight double and open weight quad at the Christmas Regatta in Long Beach. He also placed first in the open weight quad at the Fall Classic in San Diego. Recently, he was invited to try out for the United States Junior National team.
I started rowing in 8th grade when my mom told me I couldn’t just surf all the time. I was bummed, but I decided to pick a sport with water because of my love for the ocean. My first lessons in the marina hold a special place in my heart. For five days in a row, I saw the same pod of dolphins while learning how to row in a narrow rowing shell in choppy waters. I took this as a sign that rowing was for me and jumped into the sport wholeheartedly.
My first year of rowing was the most difficult thing I have ever done. Rowing is like no other sport because it is so multidimensional. You must have the strength to row hard and propel your boat through the water. You must have balance to make sure your boat runs on the water and doesn’t lose speed during the recovery. You must perfect your technique to ensure you aren’t missing water and slowing your boat down because of it. You must have cardio to ensure that you can keep rowing even when you are tired and your lungs want to quit. You need to have a high degree of mental toughness to break through your own limitations and keep going. You must have the ability to keep pushing with your legs and pulling with your arms when your brain just wants a hot shower and a warm burrito. Rowing is not easy: It is an internal battle between you and yourself.
Rowing as an individual is tough, but I find the most satisfaction when rowing in a double or a quad. It is here that having good team chemistry is key. In addition to doing all the other necessary things to row fast, you now must also be in perfect sync with the rowers around you. If your timing and swing in the boat is off, it is impossible to row fast. It helps when you really like the group of rowers you train with. At CYC, we have an incredible group of determined athletes who all want to compete in the Nationals regatta at the end of our season. We are all hunting for a chance to prove ourselves on a national level in front of collegiate and national team coaches.
This past year, I have been putting in more work toward rowing than I ever have before. This includes adding strength training to my schedule and also implementing a stretching routine and following a healthy diet. It is really nice to see this hard work paying off. I feel as if I am improving in the sport and going faster on the water as a byproduct of my hard work. Still, I have lots of room to grow as a rower. I am striving to be able to compete with top rowers in the United States and eventually enter into global regattas such as the Head of the Charles and the Henley Royal Regatta. I cannot wait to see how my next chapter of rowing unfolds.