Sports

Saanich teen rows her way to Boston University

St. Margaret’s School student Kelsey Farmer, who is getting a full-ride scholarship to Boston University, practises her sport on Elk Lake in a boat named after Olympic rower Kevin Light. - Don Denton/News staff
St. Margaret’s School student Kelsey Farmer, who is getting a full-ride scholarship to Boston University, practises her sport on Elk Lake in a boat named after Olympic rower Kevin Light.
— image credit: Don Denton/News staff

Four years of dedication to a sport will culminate in a four-year scholarship to Boston University for Saanich teen Kelsey Farmer.

The St. Margaret’s School student will pull with the best in one of the most famous post-secondary rowing programs in North America.

Seventeen-year-old Farmer, a lifer at the all-girls independent school, says she looks forward to being a “small fish in a big, big pond” in Massachusetts, after spending her youth at the Saanich school of fewer than 400 students.

“It’ll be a huge change going from a small school. … I’m going to miss everyone but it’ll be nice to meet new people,” she said. “Being here for 13 years has set me up for it.”

Farmer found the sport only four years ago.

“I was done with field hockey and some of my friends were rowing,” she said. “It was a sport away from school, so it had some separation, a new environment.”

That summer the teen made a competitive Victoria City Rowing team for a regatta in Ontario.

“When I made that team, that’s when I knew I had a talent,” she said. “I’ve been lucky.”

Happenstance may have played a role in her finding the sport, but dedication keeps her at the top of the game.

“Her success is almost entirely attributed to her incredible grit and tenacity as an athlete,” said Vic City rowing coach Jesse Hume.

“She has always pushed herself in every aspect of the sport, whether it is on the water training, or off the water in other elements of her life (such as nutrition and recovery) that enable her to continually perform at her best.”

Farmer does cardio and strength training each morning before school, is on the water five days a week, and does dryland rowing four days a week.

“Her strength, aside from her work ethic, is the ability … to make her teammates push harder and faster at every opportunity,” Hume said. “This strengthens not only her own rowing, but the entire team. … Rowing is a sport that really takes determination and the strongest of work ethics to reach the highest levels, and Kelsey has and continually demonstrated those abilities.”

Farmer plans to take pre-pharmaceutical studies in the Health Sciences or Human Physiology department.

reporter@saanichnews.com

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