Breaking Through

Tenley Rooney
Alison '20 rows to victory at the USRowing Youth Regional Challenge

When Alison Liu ’20 arrived in Millville three years ago, she had never even sat in a racing shell. Although she ran track in the spring at her old school, Liu opted for something different when she arrived at St Paul’s School for her Third Form year.
“When I got to St. Paul’s I decided to try crew and absolutely fell in love with the sport,” recalls Liu.
With one year under her belt, Liu earned a seat in the girls varsity first boat her Fourth Form year. That season the crew went on to win the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association (NEIRA) championship.
Liu built upon that success earlier this month with a strong showing at the USRowing Youth Regional Challenge in Sarasota, Florida, December 12-15, where she competed in the U-17 eight representing the Northeast region. Liu was among 72 young women and men selected to compete for the Northeast in this gathering of top developmental junior talent from across the country. Liu’s boat won their age division with a time of 6:41.08, and collectively, the Northeast earned the most points during the three-day event.
While Liu shines on the water, she also plays on the girls varsity basketball squad and is an active member of the School’s FIRST Robotics team. “When I started rowing at St. Paul’s, I realized that I had found the ultimate team sport,” says Liu. “In a lot of other team sports, you can have one star player, the top scorer, or the top rebounder. However, in crew, everyone is in the same boat, metaphorically and literally. Everyone has to work together and pull together to make the boat move as fast as it can. It truly is an amazing feeling when the entire boat is in sync and swinging together. I love that feeling of togetherness when we’re rowing and the feeling of accomplishment when we finish a race.”