Kelsey Smith to row for Brown

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Photo courtesy of Kelsey Smith

Anna Gustafson

Senior Kelsey Smith officially committed to row for Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island this past summer on July 11. Smith is excited to join the DI crew team and compete again, an aspect of the sport that COVID-19 has restricted at the moment.

Like many other commits this year, Smith couldn’t visit many college campuses leading up to her commitment, as COVID-19 shut them down. Fortunately, she was able to visit Brown’s campus in July in order to help her make a final decision. “I chose Brown because I wanted a successful program with a competitive team atmosphere,” Smith said. Smith wasn’t able to publicly discuss her commitment until she received her “likely letter,” a letter signifying she was likely to get into Brown. 

Smith had interest from many other schools, including Cornell, Dartmouth, Princeton, Duke, and UVA, but Brown had won her over. Smith said, “[I] liked the girls on the team, and I think that Brown is a good fit for me academically.”

Smith began her career when she started rowing for Wilson in eighth grade as a novice; she then moved up her freshman year to row for Wilson Varsity for four years. Since COVID-19 forced restrictions on the Wilson season—not being able to row in large team boats or compete against other teams—Smith rowed for Thompson’s Boat Club Racing (TBC) over the summer and Potomac Boat Club this fall in order to stay in shape and prepare for the collegiate level.

Smith praises her mom and her coaches at Wilson and TBC Racing for helping her along her commitment journey. “My coaches put in a good word with the coaches at Brown and my mom helped me write emails and keep track of conversations,” Smith said.

Although unsure exactly what she wants to study, Smith looks forward to exploring her academic interests including science, writing, and art. Smith is eager to join the Brown Women’s Crew team next fall, and of course to bring her Tiger pride to the water.