Orth off to junior worlds
It is going to be a hectic August for Teagan Orth.
The recent graduate of St. Francis will be representing Canada in the women’s quad at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, from Aug. 11 to 15. Once she arrives home, the 18-year-old St. Catharines resident will barely have time to catch her breathe before embarking for her first season of scholarship rowing at the University of Virginia.
“I’ll be getting back from Bulgaria and then I will have less than a day before I drive to Virginia,” the St. Catharines Rowing Club member said.
It’s a small price to pay for such an epic adventure.
“I would prefer a little bit more time but I am still obviously very excited and I will do whatever to make it happen.”
Her first international experience should prove beneficial as she enters her freshman season in Atlantic Coast Conference
“This will definitely put me in a good spot and will give me the right training to get started in Virginia.
The qualification process for the junior national team started when athletes were asked to submit two-kilometre ergs scores between May 2 and May 8. From there, Rowing Canada chose a group of athletes to participate in on-water selection. There were training groups in British Columbia and Ontario, made up of a total of 10 athletes, including six in Ontario. All 10 will be going to Bulgaria.
Canada will be sending a women’s double, quad and four and Orth will be in the quad.
In past years, crews had to achieve a certain time standard to be sent to junior worlds but that wasn’t the case this year.
‘We didn’t have to hit any gold medal standards but they are just making sure that we are working towards being there,” she said.
Orth was informed of her selection via email.
“It was kind of a surreal feeling just because I have been working towards this for the past two years. It made all the hard work worthwhile and it paid off,” she said. “I was mostly happy and I didn’t cry but my mom (Donna) cried. She was really emotional.”
Orth and her teammates don’t have a specific goal in mind as they head to Bulgaria.
“We are going to train hard and show everyone what we can do and just do our best.”
She is thrilled to be representing Canada.
“I am most looking forward to wearing the (maple) leaf and putting the leaf on my blade.”
The group will leave for Bulgaria at the beginning of August
Since last fall, Orth has been training at the Ontario NextGen Performance Centre in Welland
“I have been focused on getting stronger, getting my erg score down and getting faster on the water,” she said. “The biggest improvement I have made is with my sculling technique, especially with having a sweeping background.
“I used to sweep two years ago before COVID and the past year I have been learning to scull and that is what I will be doing at junior worlds.
She agrees it was difficult to train during the COVID pandemic.
“It definitely had its moments and the lockdown over Christmas was probably the hardest part of COVID and the whole year for me,” she said. “I was training in my basement and by myself. It was no fun but sticking to it and seeing my way through it helped and it paid off.”
Orth got through the ordeal with help from her teammates.
“My team and I at the NextGen performance centre did Zoom calls and lifting sessions on Zoom. Just talking to my friends and knowing they were doing the same thing I was doing really helped.”
Orth has made a rapid rise through the rowing ranks. She took a learn to row program in Grade 8 but didn’t start rowing until her Grade 10 year of high school.
In 2019, she and her teammates came fourth in the Canadian Henley final in a four and 16th at the Head of the Charles out of 84 coxed fours.