Tristan Jamidar ’18 Receives National Rowing Recognition

Many top athletes are born to do a certain sport. They begin at a young age, and, over their childhood, perfect and refine their natural talents. Some, however, have a much longer path to their calling, defined by hard work and perseverance. Tristan Jamidar ’18, a co-captain of the Boys’ Crew Team, took the latter on his way to becoming one of the top rowers in the Northeast, as evident by his success at the inaugural Youth Regional Challenge, held last month in Sarasota, Florida.

Before coming to Choate, Jamidar had never rowed. Jamidar said, “When I started, I was at the bottom of the team. You usually say bottom of the barrel, but if you looked at the bottom of the barrel and then underneath it, that’s where I was at the start.”

Despite his lack of early success, Jamidar decided to stick with it. He cited the “rowing bug” as his reason for staying. “A lot of people just get bit by the bug, and that’s what happened to me. A lot of my very good friends are members of the team, so the camaraderie was nice. And suffering together makes you closer, so I decided to stick with it,” Jamidar said.

Jamidar has come a long way from a freshman who struggled to keep up with the rest of the team. Over the past three years, Jamidar has managed to transform himself into a rowing machine. He was able to qualify for the youth challenge out, a four-day event last month that united the sixteen best rowers from every region in the U.S, beating out over 300 other rowers who also applied.

At the event, the coaches find a lineup that works, and, on the final day, the newly-formed teams race. The skill Jamidar showed in the event’s initial practices earrned him a spot in the Northeast region’s top boat. Jamidar rowed in the boat’s seventh seat.

On September 23, Jamidar’s boat won its heat and qualified for a final next day. In that race, it finished second behind the Midwest.

“We came off the line really strong and held off a lot of boats,” Jamidar said of the final. “We were about a second up on the field at the halfway mark, and during the third 500-meter section of the 2000-meter race, the Midwest started to come back. Coming into the last 500 and the final sprint, we couldn’t respond.”

The hardest part of the sport, says Jamidar, is making sure everyone is working on the same page. This event tested that aspect of rowing the most. The teams had never practiced together before, and the lineups were still up in the air going into the first day of racing. “Everyone from their home teams has different styles,” Jamidar said, “so the biggest thing was making sure that everyone rowed together as a synchronized unit, because that’s the only way to be successful. Obviously, the racing hurts a bit, but it was a really cool experience.”

Coming off his great performance at the event, Jamidar can now refocus on the Choate team and their upcoming races. Jamidar said of this season, “I was worried because we lost seven seniors this past year. However, a lot of younger guys on the team are stepping up. I’m excited about where we are on the water, in terms of form and being a cohesive unit. We have a big race on the Charles River in the fall. Top five get a medal there, so that’s our goal. In the spring, we want to get fast and win New England’s.”

Typical of his personality, Jamidar did not forget to acknowledge the people who have helped him and guided from his very first day as a rower. “I want to give a shoutout to Mr. Pat Guelakis and his coaching,” Jamidar said. Mr. Guelakis is the head coach of Boys’ Varsity Crew.

“He has been my rowing father, teaching me everything I know and pushing me to be better,” Jamidar added. “He has absolutely brought me to where I am today as a rower and a person.”

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