WATCHUNG – Rhythm, balance, and focus are essential to the mindset of any successful rower. As an accomplished member of the Mercer Rowing Club in Princeton, Mount Saint Mary senior Katie Sessa of Monroe Township has found that all three also translate to success in the classroom.
“I put the work in and I’m prepared,” said Sessa. “When I get to the test or the race, it’s hard when I’m there but I know that I studied enough or worked out enough and it turns out fine.”
As a result of her hard work, Sessa has been named to the 2013-2014 Scholastic Honor Roll by US Rowing, the national governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. She is one of only 55 seniors in the country selected. The Honor Roll recognizes students who have excelled in both academics, as evidenced by their high school transcripts, as well as rowing.
Sessa began rowing as a high school freshman. An ACL tear suffered in middle school might have derailed other young athletes but for her, it meant a new start.
“The doctor I visited happened to be the doctor for the US Olympic Rowing Team,” she explained. While she recovered from ACL surgery, he introduced her to the Mercer Club. She learned quickly and excelled in her new sport almost immediately.
“I’ve always played team sports but rowing is a new level of competition,” explained Sessa, also a member of the Mount’s volleyball and basketball teams. “It requires individual determination but it’s so team orientated. You want to push yourself and do well but for the good of the team.”
Sessa’s Mercer squad has achieved much national success, most recently earning a bronze medal at US Rowing’s Youth National Championships in Oak Ridge, Tennessee this past June. She and the Mercer Club hope to head to California’s Lake Natoma to again compete in the National Championships this summer.
While her training continues, Sessa maintains a rigorous academic and extracurricular schedule at the Mount. In addition to a challenging course load, she is a Peer Minster, National Honor Society tutor, and member of the Forensics team.
“The Mount really gives you a lot of independence and puts you in charge of your studies while supporting you along the way,” she said. “It has really prepared me for what’s in the future.”
Her hard work in the classroom and on the water has paid off as she has been recruited by both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Georgetown University.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of college,” she said. “The Mount has taught me how to push myself, something I’m looking for in a school.”
Founded in 1908, Mount Saint Mary Academy is a Catholic, independent school which provides a college preparatory education for young women in grades 9 through 12.
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