WESTPORT — There is a lot of things that can happen in a year. For Kelsey McGinley, that extra year of training gave her a chance to grow in her maturity heading into the 2017 World Junior Rowing Championship.
McGinley, along with the rest of the USA 4-crew, earned the bronze medal — the Westport native’s second medal in as many years.
“Last year my mindset was focused on the final outcome of the racing and trying to get the best result possible,” she said. “This year we took the competition in a more internal manner, focusing on our rowing and our race.”
After finishing with the bronze medal in 2016, McGinley returned to the crew a year later with an added focus and also pressure as a returning member of the crew.
But it was that pressure she said created a change in her approach.
“The most stressful part about making the team was stepping up and performing at a higher level because I have been on the team before,” she said. “The attention to detail in everything I did had to be extremely high.”
McGinley made the trip along with fellow Saugatuck rower and Staples high school student Harrison Burke, who finished with a silver medal as a member of the USA men’s 8+ crew, but it was again that second year of competing that gave her an appreciation for the long hours of training that went into reaching this point.
“It’s extremely rewarding to find success after all the hard work we put in,” she said.
Despite her personal success, the best joy came from winning a medal for her team and nation.
“You are achieving something greater than just individual success,” McGinley said. “It’s always nice to be able to put work in and find the result throughout all training, but it is especially meaningful when you are wearing the colors of your country.”