Tenlea Radack to row for Naval Academy

Anna Arnsberger

Senior Tenlea Radack has committed to the US Naval Academy’s top-ranked D1 women’s crew program. 

Radack began rowing in eighth grade and quickly became obsessed. In love with the team dynamics and serenity of being on the water, Radack dedicated her next five years to improving at the sport.

“I would do practices like twice a day, freshman year,” Radack said, “my entire life revolved around crew.” Radack took advantage of all the opportunities provided to her by Wilson’s crew program, often participating in extra workouts and learning to keep workout logs. 

That hard work has largely paid off—Radack’s personal record for a 2,000 meter erg piece is 7:19.8 minutes. She placed in every Erg Sprints competition since freshman year, twice coming in first in the 2,000 meter race. Radack has also been named to a junior national team predicted selection camp and high-performance team.

Radack knew from early on that she wanted to row in college and began reaching out to coaches in the summer of 2019. She received an offer from the University of Virginia, but had her sights set on Navy. 

“The thing about Navy is that everyone, even if you’re not playing a sport, is on the same team,” Radack said. She added that while she doesn’t know what pathway she will go on, she is excited for a future in public service. 

While none were official, Radack was able to make two visits to Navy during the COVID-19 pandemic and attended Juniors Day, which included a panel of rowers that secured her interest in the team.

Navy’s complicated application process meant Radack’s commitment wasn’t confirmed until this winter, though recruits at other schools often make their decision by the summer before senior year. 

Radack had to secure a nomination from a congressional representative, pass fitness and medical evaluations, and interview with a Blue and Gold officer to be accepted by Navy. “The whole team is so proud of her,” girl’s varsity crew captain Lily Martin said, “there’s all these steps she had to jump through and she honestly did it all with grace.” 

Girl’s varsity head coach Chris Rickard explained, “she’s just worked really hard for four years… and I think a lot of that stems from her positive spirit and ability to keep going even when things are difficult.” In addition to this determination, Radack is “always looking out for other people, she’s checking in with them, making sure they’re doing well,” Rickard said.

Martin added that Radack’s dedication has been a constructive influence on those around her. “She inspires a lot of the team because everyone sees her working so hard and it makes everyone else want to work harder,” Martin said.