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Captivating Crew Captain: Katherine Tombaugh

Micah Betts ’26 Assistant Sports Editor
Katherine Tombaugh ’24 captains Hopkins Crew this year alongside Hanna Jennings ’24.
Katherine Tombaugh ’24 captains Hopkins Crew this year alongside Hanna Jennings ’24. Tombaugh began crew in ninth grade, and loved that she was “racing and pushing past [her] limits”. Her teammates describe her as dependable, and whether they’re in the lake or working out, she is always eager to help.

Jennings recalled her first impression of Tombaugh: “I first met Katherine during crew my freshman year but because of COVID-19 and the different cohorts, we weren’t able to become close until our sophomore year
crew season. I think one of the coolest things has been seeing Katherine grow from a reserved underclassman to a true leader of such a large team. She’s always been an insanely talented rower and athlete, but now she also thrives at being a captain to many of the younger girls on the team.”

As captain, it’s Tombaugh’s responsibility to support her team, especially the newer members. Jade Bohn ’27 said, “Katherine is always available to help others, whether that’s to help bring out the boats when a group is struggling or take the lead when someone is gone... It was especially nice to have her around on my first few
days since she was so supportive and understanding.”

Tombaugh always cheers her teammates on and makes a massive contribution to the team’s positive attitude. Jennings believes that “a lot of this positivity comes from the fact that in order for a boat to go fast, you cannot
just have four individual super strong rowers. The rowers need to be in sync with each other, the coxswain needs to cooperate with the rowers, and the entire boat needs to work well with the coach... As a result, the crew team is like a family both on the water and off.” According to Caryn Kim ‘26, Tombaugh embodies this team tradition of kindness. She recalled: “There was one moment where she went out with the other captains to get hot chocolate for the entire team on a very cold, windy day. It was so heartwarming, literally and figuratively, for her to do so, especially since the boathouse did not have the heater on that day!”

Jennings reminisced about a fond memory she had with Tombaugh during the season: “One that comes
to mind as less of a memory and more of a tradition comes from all of the times that I drove her from Hopkins to the boathouse last spring. I always gave her aux and she would play ‘Man! I Feel Like A Woman!’ by Shania Twain and we would always scream the part that says ‘Let’s go girls!’ Now, during race pieces at practice and actual races, I’ll yell ‘Let’s go girls’ into the mic. I put this song on the speaker while Katherine was completing her 5k, and a smile immediately came to her face despite all the pain she was in.”

Tombaugh’s advice to future rowers is encouraging: “I always feel bad when we start the season because we’re working out in the wrestling room where it’s already hot and it’s painful not being on the water, but just trust the process because once you keep going at it it’s really rewarding and the blisters are worth it.”

Tombaugh will attend Tufts University next year where she hopes to walk on to the crew team.
Editor in Chief 
Asher Joseph

Managing Editor 
Margaret Russell

Claire Billings
Jo Reymond
Rose Porosoff
Eric Roberts
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Saisha Ghai
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Winter Szarabajka
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Karun Srihari
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