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Nate Iglehart was dedicated rower for the Guilford crew for three seasons, earning the distinction of captain as a junior for his efforts. (Photo courtesy of Nate Iglehart )
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Nate Iglehart wakes up at five in the morning to start preparing himself for race day—or even a practice—with the Guilford High School crew. While getting up so early can be a struggle, Nate lives for the feeling that he gets from being alongside his teammates as they glide their boat along the water.
Nate got his start in crew after attending a rowing camp with his family in Vermont. Nate’s older brother Adam was a member of the team at Lafayette College and introduced him to the sport. Now, Nate is a senior at Guilford and one of the captains for the Indians’ crew.
“The reason I stuck with it is because the group of guys I met freshman year are some of my best friends to this day,” says Nate. “There’s just nothing like feeling a boat fly across the water. It’s a magical feeling.”
Last spring, the Guilford crew program put together one of its best years in school history, and Nate played an integral part in that success. The Indians delivered solid results throughout the regular season and then performed at their peak during the postseason, when they participated in Connecticut Public Schools Rowing Championship and the New England Interscholastic Rowing Championship.
While Nate loves the thrill that comes with racing in a regatta, he enjoys the experience of those early-bird practices just as much, if not more.
“It’s hard to pick out a singular favorite moment. Even things like waking up at five o’clock to get on a bus to a regatta are, oddly, something I miss about the spring season,” Nate says. “But if I had to pick, I would say our morning practices. They are far and few between, but the water is incredibly still, there’s often a thin mist on the lake, and you just fall into a trance.”
Nate works hard during both the season and the offseason in order to sharpen his skills as a rower. Nate likes to focus on the technical side of the sport, but also puts in a lot of work outside the water, so he can stay in tip-top shape.
“I’m lucky enough to have an ergometer, or a rowing machine, at home. This has allowed me to practice rowing form and keep up my strength even during the offseason,” says Nate. “I personally combine that with rowing camps during the offseason and other workouts at home. Many of the guys have Planet Fitness memberships, and the coaches are always available if the rowers want to send them videos in order to get technique feedback.”
Head Coach Matt Wilson praises Nate for his dedication to the Guilford crew, along with the fact that he’s become such a true student of the sport. Wilson says he knew right away that Nate loves rowing.
“In his first year, you could immediately tell that Nate had a passion for rowing. He arrived at every practice with a positive attitude and gave 100-percent effort, whether at practice or in a race,” Wilson says. “Nate’s commitment to the sport and his determination allowed him to consistently be one of the fastest rowers on the boys’ team. Nate was always seeking out opportunities to further his knowledge of the sport and rowing techniques.”
On top of that, Nate proved an excellent leader who earned the title of captain in his junior season. Coach Wilson says that Nate led by example and was a great resource for his fellow rowers.
“Nate was always willing to assist his teammates in honing their rowing skills. He shared his own techniques to help maximize the team’s results,” says Wilson. “Nate had all the qualities that a coach would want in a leader and captain.”
When he isn’t on the water, Nate plays basketball and volleyball on a recreational basis in his spare time. Nate likes to get outside, but he’s picked up a new hobby in recent weeks.
“I like to hang out with friends, which often manifests in either day trips to New York, or just talking and relaxing on the green,” Nate says. “With the coronavirus and everything, my brothers and I have all started to learn to cook. We also play video games together.”
Nate is a member of the National Honor Society and the Latin Honor Society at Guilford High School. After he graduates, Nate will hit the water to row crew at Tufts University in Massachusetts.
“I’m going in undecided, but I might major in political science, economics, or international relations,” says Nate. “I’m looking forward to the community. Everyone I met there is super nice, and there’s so much opportunity to explore Boston.”
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