By Johanna Kaiser, Town Correspondent
A young Charlestown native is reaping the rewards of years of predawn workouts, races on a frigid Charles River, and long hours of studying.
Rachel Wolsfelt, a senior at Boston Latin High School, has been recruited by Duke University to row for the school’s Division 1 crew team beginning in the fall.
“I’m really excited. I don’t even know how to express how excited I am,” said Wolsfelt, who is the captain of her school’s crew team.
Wolsfelt began rowing as an eighth-grader in the spring of 2008 and made the Boston Latin’s varsity the next season. Wolsfelt has also competed in the Youth Nationals competition in Cincinnati and was on the 2010 US Junior National CanAmMex Team racing against Canada and Mexico.
The future Blue Devil is now preparing for the challenging practices and intense competition at the private North Carolina university.
“I’m just ready to put in the extra effort for the college level,” she said. “My coaches have always said I have a lot of power.”
While Wolsfelt spends much of her time on the water or on the volleyball court, she is no stranger to hard work in the classroom.
The National Honor Society member spends her study periods in the Boston Scholar Athlete Program’s scholar athlete zone at her school where she works on her homework. She also sought advice from the program’s facilitator at Boston Latin, Joseph Cappellano, when she started looking into which colleges she would like to attend
“We are very proud of Rachel,” Evan Davis, the executive athletic director of the Boston Scholar Athlete Program, said in a statement. “Her experience is a perfect example of how the BSA can help improve the academic performance of all scholar-athletes.”
The citywide program launched in 2009 is designed to offer student athletes the support and resources needed to prepare for college by offering supervised study centers in the 19 Boston public high schools for student athletes to work independently or with teammates and receive mentoring or tutoring.
Wolsfelt plans to study physical therapy or sports medicine at Duke University, and is looking forward to at least one other thing the school has to offer.
“I won’t have to be rowing in the New England weather all the time,” she said.
Johanna Kaiser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org