Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Claire Sopko rows to 2 national championships

Claire Sopko
Claire Sopko (second from left) holds a 2023 national trophy with her quad.

Junior Claire Sopko is a 2 time national champion after only 3 years of rowing.

After volleyball was shut down due to the pandemic, Sopko started rowing, and while it took some time to get the hang of it, she ultimately found her place in her quad and a passion for the unique sport. A sport that’s equally tough on the body, and mind.

Through joining her club, Oregon Rowing Unlimited, Sopko has gained confidence and found “a wonderful community of people.”

Because she rows in a quad, a four person boat, the sport relies heavily on teamwork.

“I’m really lucky to have an awesome group of people… for a typical nationals lineup we’ll spend about 10 months training. The sport requires a lot of synchronization and closeness with the teammates,” Sopko said.

Sopko is a sculler, meaning she holds two oars instead of one, and rows in three-seat, meaning she’s one seat from the stern.

Dedicated to her team, Sopko practices every day after school and on the weekends on the Willamette River. When it’s too cold and dangerous to be on the water, she trains on the land. That means running, erging (similar to a rowing machine), and weightlifting. Her hard work has paid off too, as she’s taken the boat all the way to England for the Henley Royal Regatta Race.

“I love being outdoors and close to nature everyday. And I love my event because it’s small enough of a boat that we’re really close and can go really fast,” Sopko said.

Less than a second away from US National Team times, Sopko and her team are working hard to compete at world level this spring. It is very difficult for athletes in the Northwest to race at Nationals due to a limited number of events they can enter, but she hopes to earn another national title this spring as well.

Sopko is also looking forward to rowing in college. “I’m not committed yet, but I’m very excited about the schools I’m talking to,” Sopko said.

Sopko is proud of her team’s accomplishments and can’t wait to see what’s to come as they continue to work towards their goals.

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About the Contributor
Evelyn Kennedy
Evelyn Kennedy, Assistant Editor-in-Chief
Evelyn Kennedy, a junior at Jesuit High School, was born in Portland and has also grown up in Chicago and Seattle. She is creative and spends her free time reading, writing, drawing, spending time in nature, and baking. Aside from that, she loves laughing with friends and spending time with family, including her dog Willie and sophomore sister Molly. She plans to pursue a career where she can be creative. From a young age Evelyn has loved writing short stories and being imaginative. Evelyn is interested in learning about, as well as writing about, social justice issues, the arts, and pop culture. Her goal for her high school years is to constantly be learning new things, within the media production world, and beyond. Evelyn is overall curious about the world and wants to share her interest with others. She hopes to travel and find fulfillment in volunteer work throughout her life.