Athlete of the Week, Elizabeth Berlinger

Clara McCormick, Senior Writer

The Bison women’s rowing team has had a successful season thus far, particularly the Varsity Eight. One member of this team, junior Elizabeth Berlinger ’23, has had a particularly successful athletic year as the bow seat. Berlinger and her teammates are training hard to compete in the Patriot League Championships on May 13. 

“Rowing is by no means a glamorous sport…many do not understand the appeal of waking up at 5:15am Monday through Friday all to practice in the freezing temperatures, wind or rain,” Berlinger said. “While the early mornings, extensive cardiovascular training, and calloused hands present their own challenges, rowing and being on the team has allowed me to achieve both personal and physical goals I never knew I’d be capable of completing.”

The Blue Bell, Pa. native has been a member of the Varsity Eight for two spring seasons now, and in her rookie year, she raced in the Champions Eights at the Head of the Charles and was a member of the first-place 2V8+ in the 1969 Cup. 

Last year, the team was skilled enough to take the silver medal at the Patriot League Championships, falling behind Navy by a mere 2.7 seconds. She was the two-seat in that boat. 

“We did our best to navigate the challenges of COVID and uncertainty with training and racing,” she noted of the team’s high placement.

This year’s mission for the team according to the junior, however, was to “‘uncover every stone’ through training, recovery, racing, and personal commitments to ultimately win the Patriot League Championship… We try not to concentrate on racing results and stats of our program relative to others but rather trust the training and time we dedicate every day to practice.”

Berlinger certainly has quite the background in her sport as well. “I rowed throughout high school in the Philadelphia area and was recruited to row for Bucknell’s program my senior year,” she explains. “Although I came to Bucknell with experience from my previous team, I realized very quickly that rowing for a division I program would take my commitment to the next level…Although I have been on the team for three full years, this has by far been the most intensive and challenging year of training I have ever experienced.”

Best of luck to Berlinger and the rest of the Varsity Eight in their run for the championship. The hard work will certainly pay off!

Career Stats:

2 seat in V8 Spring 2021

Silver Medal at Patriot League Championships 

CRCA Scholar-Athlete Squad 2020-2021

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