The Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) recently selected senior women’s rowing captains Merrideth Bennett and Madison Beumer as 2012 All-Region Scholar Athletes.   This is the second year in a row for both women to be selected for this award.

To be nominated for this award, athletes must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and participate in at least 75 percent of the current spring races or race in a regional event.

Selection is then made by the CRCA, which has coaches from nearly every team.

The award is a sign of not just academic and athletic success but also personal time management and scheduling balance.

“With workouts, two-a-days, travel and all the extra time I put in with the team, it [totals] about 30 to 35 hours a week,” Bennett said.

Time management is something that nearly all college students pick up on after their freshmen year. This is especially true of athletes.

“Not going to lie, it is a little hard and requires a lot of sacrifice. Some nights, I want to go out but can’t, and other times, I’m on the bus cramming for tests,” Bennett said.

In addition to being recognized for her academic and rowing achievement, Bennett was also awarded the title of CRCA Division 1 All-Region Second Team by the CRCA, which is based solely upon athletic performance and success.

Beumer, who is also the president of the Student Athlete Council, agreed with her fellow captain on the significance of time management.

“Find whatever works for you; some people take naps, others stay up late. I separate things and make schedules,” Beumer said.

The girls understand the importance of working hard in both of their fields and how the academic and athletic worlds are alike.

“There is a life after rowing, and how you approach your sport shows the way you are going to approach the rest of your life,” Beumer said.  “You learn to work in groups, time management, and cooperation skills; its like a test run.”

On and off the water, the coaching staff and the rest of the team are always there to support each other, but some may say Bennett and Beumer have a  connection that is a little more special.

The two girls are practically twins, and not only in appearance.

They are the same year, have the same major, and the same minor.

Both are captains, share similar goals, have lived together for two years and have rowed together in the same boat for four years.

“We push each other and always support each other. We even sit next to one another for our dry workouts,” Bennett said.

While the two girls are close and spend a lot of time together, they are still very involved with the other members of the rowing team.

“It’s not just the captains or the stronger rowers that push us though. Even the new rowers work and compete for spots and that pushes us all to work harder,” Beumer said.

Both captains are confident in their team this year from the seniors all the way down to the rookies. After placing fourth last year in the Head of the Charles in Boston, they are sure that the team will medal this year.

“Our coaches emphasize striving for perfection. If it is not perfect, it is not right,” Bennett said. The two girls have successfully been able to dedicate their lives to their goals of academic and athletic dominance. Although they make it seem easy, the work they put in is second to none.

“Rowing is not something that is for everyone; you have to be willing to dedicate your life to it it,” Beumer said. “You cannot be half in, you must be all in.”

Both Bennett and Beumer are planning to graduate this year and work for some time before possibly returning for graduate school.

Whatever path they choose, the skills they have learned and the hard work they have shown in the classroom and in the boat will surely carry them to success.