Athlete of the Issue: Andrew Bittner ’24

Andrew Bittner ‘24 is amongst the top Belmont Hill athletes within the sport of crew. As a member of the Varsity Crew team for over 4 years, Andrew has displayed consistency throughout his athletic career and the rest of the community is seeing dividends. He has put together an impressive resume: 2nd and 1st at New England’s along with 5th and 2nd at Nationals throughout sophomore and junior year, respectively. Internationally, Andrew and his crew took 1st place in both the 4 and the 8 boats at the Canadian Henley Regatta. Andrew is now a senior and was voted captain in his junior year, hoping to lead a determined squad for the upcoming season. 

Looking back to when he started, Andrew stated that he picked up rowing for the first time in seventh grade, not knowing what to expect. After playing baseball competitively throughout his childhood, Andrew’s parents encouraged him to try crew, thinking highly of the Belmont Hill program. It was just a year into the new sport when Andrew decided to put aside his baseball aspirations and take crew on full-time. When asked about the competitive nature of continuing with the sport, Andrew stated that he “started taking it seriously freshman year when he made varsity.” There is no doubt that the sport of crew involves teamwork and in Belmont Hill’s case, brotherhood. The sense of comradery among the crew, hence the name, is what Andrew loves about the sport so much: “I think it’s unique to rowing, and it’s really special to be a part of,” Andrew states. 

It was clear that no matter what question was thrown at him, Andrew always alluded some sort of his answer to the fellowship around the sport. Not only was “the aspect of racing and being on the water” so much fun for him, but he’s also “found a community on the team that has been there for me and helped me personally in countless ways. I’m super grateful for everything the team has done for me over the past 4 years.”

Not only is his work ethic displayed on the water, but the classroom has also served Andrew well throughout his Belmont Hill career. Looking at the next four years, Andrew has declared his commitment to row at Yale University. Looking back on his experiences with the crew team, Andrew talks about one of his most memorable accomplishments being the New England races last year. After three out of the four boats won gold at the New England championship race for Belmont Hill, Andrew talked about how impressed he was by the team’s efforts: “It was pretty impressive to see the hard work of so many guys come together to win the team trophy.” 

As we look towards the 2024 highly anticipated spring season, Andrew mentions that “this is by far the most stacked team I’ve ever been a part of. We have newer guys and experienced guys who are all incredibly talented and super excited about the season and it’s really awesome to see.”

After the crew season ended last year, Andrew and a couple of guys worked hard to ensure that they would be ready for the following season. Andrew mentions how important training is for a sport so physically demanding. During the winter leading up to crew season, Andrew and a few other rowers spent time on the ergs to help increase cardiovascular stamina. As well as lifting with Coach Markham in the weight room, Andrew and the guys also went down to the Harvard stadium to run stairs once a week. No doubt, Andrew has all the tools to repeat another successful season and is doing so leading the pack.

When asked about what he would want someone who’s new to the sport to know, Andrew states, “Have fun with it. It’s easy to fall into the trap of getting stressed about ergs and racing, and while those things matter, rowing and racing are supposed to be fun.” In such a team culture, Andrew stated that he loved to see the guys who put in the hard work and do well in the big show at the end of the season. For any hopeful future captaincy candidates, Andrew recommends staying disciplined to yourself as well as the team. It is clear that the senior values drive and work ethic as much as team camaraderie and good sportsmanship. 

Ultimately, Andrew Bittner will join the long list of successful rowers in Belmont Hill Crew history as a leader who led by example. No varsity jacket or Belmont Hill sweatshirt could ever tell the true story of what Andrew has brought to the long-lasting program and his reputation will be remembered amongst the whole community. 

The Panel staff wishes Andrew good luck in his future endeavors as both an athletic and academic achiever in hopes that he continues to make such a powerful impact.

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