Nick Hebard ’21 is one of the current captains of the crew team and on the top boat, the 1v4 (1st boat of 4 people). He joined the crew team in Form II and remembers, “struggling my first couple of weeks with learning the technique but loved the process of making a boat faster.” He attributes the success of the middle school rowing program to his increased interest in the sport. The opportunity for Nick to begin rowing before Form III put him a step above many other rowers.
Nick joined the Varsity rowing team after successfully trying out in Form III, and making great strides in the 3v8 by putting in consistent effort. By Form IV and after a summer of CRI, he was on the 4v4, which was an undefeated NEIRA boat that season. Nick believes that his biggest role model was varsity rowing head Coach Richards who pushed Nick to shoot for bigger goals and hold him accountable. According to Nick, Coach Richards, “is probably the most competitive and influential person that I have ever met and he demands excellence.” Nick believes that without Coach Richards, he wouldn’t be the person or rower he is now. Unfortunately, Nick’s rowing season in Form V was cut short by the COVID pandemic which cancelled all sports and the most important final competition: NEIRAs. In his senior year, Nick came back after a year of training and working out on the ergometer to a strong start on the 1v4. Although the season didn’t start extremely well, the team defeated Deerfield’s 1v4 in an important race. Nick thinks this is his biggest accomplishment so far as Deerfield is Belmont Hill’s biggest rival in crew. Nick remarked, “Since my first year on the team, my goal was to beat Deerfield in the top boat. Watching the first boats of the past not beat them in the regular season motivated me to end their streak. I am grateful for Deerfield because they forced my teammates and I to find a new level of speed.”
Nick will be heading to Florida for Youth Nationals with the rest of the 1v4 where they will look to beat up on some crews from around the country. He will be going to Cornell next year to row on their Heavyweight Rowing team and hopes to contribute to IRAs. Nick’s advice for future prospective athletes is to “stay persistent”: continue training hard every day with a clear goal in mind even if the weather or circumstances aren’t as conducive as normal. The Panel wishes Nick Hebard ’21 and the rest of the Belmont Hill 1v4 luck in Youth Nationals and future rowing endeavors at Cornell.